Invited Talks

Chris Urmson
Director, Self-Driving Cars
Google [x]

Biography:Chris Urmson leads Google's self-driving car program where the team's vehicles have driven over a half million miles. Prior to joining Google, Chris 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 worked with house size trucks, drove robots around in deserts and served as the Director of Technology for the team that won the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge. He earned his PhD in 2005 from Carnegie Mellon and his B.Sc. in Computer Engineering from the University of Manitoba in 1998.

Realizing Self-Driving Cars

Self-driving vehicles are coming. They will save lives, save time and offer mobility to those who otherwise don't have it. Eventually they will reshape the way we live in, and move through, our communities and cities. Or so the story goes. Is this a 50 year pipe dream, or a near term reality? A dedicated team at Google has spent the last five years moving self-driving vehicles closer to a reality. New algorithms, increased processing power, innovative sensors and massive amounts of data enable our vehicles to see further, understand more and handle a wide variety of challenging driving scenarios. Our vehicles have driven over a half million miles on highways, suburban and urban streets. Through this journey, we've learned a lot; not just about how to drive, but about interacting with drivers, users and others on the road, and about what it takes to bring in incredibly complex system to fruition. I'll share some fun stories and lessons along with our vision for how these vehicles will become a reality.