Chris Umson is the Director of Self-Driving Cars at Google[x].

Why you should listen

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.

What others say

“With these vehicles, the user doesn’t have to worry about the minutia. They worry about where they’re going and what they’re doing along the way.” — Chris Urmson, speaking to Liz Gannes, Re/code

Chris Urmson’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Chris Urmson

Live from TED

Machines that learn: A recap of Session 3 at TED2015

March 17, 2015

Chris Anderson introduces Session 3 with a compelling idea: “Most of the new things happening right now that feel like magic — whether it’s self-driving cars or online translations suddenly getting much better — there’s machine learning behind it.” In this session we look at the issues around machines that learn. The challenge of teaching […]

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