Since 2009, Chris Urmson has headed up Google’s self-driving car program. So far, the team’s vehicles have driven over three quarters of a million miles. While early models included a driverless Prius that TEDsters got to test- ... um, -not-drive in 2011, more and more the team is building vehicles from the ground up, custom-made to go driverless.
Prior to joining Google, Umson was on the faculty of the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, where his research focused on motion planning and perception for robotic vehicles. During his time at Carnegie Mellon, he served as Director of Technology for the team that won the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge.