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Google Hires Airbnb Executive to Commercialise Self-Driving Car

Google is all gearing up to bring its self-driving cars to the market with its latest hiring of former Airbnb executive Shaun Stewart. The hire follows the departure of CEO Chris Urmson, who stepped down after more than seven years with the unit. Stewart will serve as a director of Google Self Driving Cars project, spokesperson Johnny Luu said on Friday.

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Google Self Driving Cars are still in progress, but these autonomous vehicles are expected to hit the road in the US, in just a few years. Urmson himself predicted last year that these Google’s autonomous vehicles would be ready and go on to the market by 2020.

The role of Shaun Stewart’s is to help, commercialize the Google self-driving technology which has been in development for more than seven years. The hiring process of Stewart follows the appointment of four Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik in 2015 as the set-driving vehicle unit’s CEO.

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Stewart is an experienced technology executive, specialized in building and scaling business. Before joining Google, he was Chief Executive of Jetsetter. The Alphabet Inc’s Google subsidiary currently has driven 1.8 million miles autonomously with almost 60 test cars on the road.

The autonomous vehicle software startup nuTonomy is now running self-driving taxis in Singapore, while Uber is now going to be picking up customers in Pittsburgh, with self-driving cars from Volvo and Ford.

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Google’s autonomous car development group has expanded to four cities in the past year, with test operations in Texas, Austin, Kirkland, Mountain View and Phoenix.

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Google’s Self-driving Car Project CTO Chris Urmson departs

Chris Urmson announced the end of his stint at Google. Robotic pro and crucial member of the team behind Google’s self-driving car declared officially in his blog this Friday. Urmson held operations as the project chief technical officer for a span of seven years.

Urmson, a former Carnegie Mellon University researcher, joined Google in 2009 to contribute creating then secret effort. He started handling leadership activities after the former Stanford computer scientist and Google X laboratory founder, Sebastian Thrun left in 2013. Chris Urmson was instrumental in building the project Google’s self-driving car. His leaving was confirmed by Alphabet, the parental company of X which oversees the car project.

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“Seven years ago, the idea that a car could drive itself wasn’t much more than an idea. Chris has been a vital force for the project, helping the team move from a research phase to a point where this lifesaving technology will soon become a reality. He departs with our warmest wishes,” Mr. Johnny Luu, spokesperson for Alphabet, wrote in an email message.

John krafcik, former president and chief executive of Hyundai America, was made a chief to car project last year, and this made a way to many departures in the project. It is also said that all this is a plan to spin the effort out to stand-alone company under the Alphabet umbrella.

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Urmson declined to state his reason for his departure, but it’s a spilt been that he is unhappy with the project under the direction Krafcik. It is reported that Urmson privately quarrelled several times with Larry page.  However, Urmson decided to take summer off at first, later he revealed his decision of quitting the company to the members of his team.

“If I can find another project that turns into an obsession and becomes something more, I will consider myself twice lucky, I have every confidence that the mission is in capable hands.” Wrote, Urmson in his blog.

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