A self-driving car startup that focuses on providing cars to retirement communities, Voyage, has hired its very first CTO, Drew Gray. Gray was just recently working for Uber as their Director of Engineering, focusing on deep learning and perception in San Francisco. This isn't long after Voyage also hired Justin Erlich, Uber's Head of Policy for Autonomous Vehicle and Aviation, to help lead their policy, strategic, and legal teams.
Gray recently said that Voyage is the clear option because mobility needs have to be addressed like those of the 125,000 residents living in The Villages in Florida.
“Private communities like The Villages are often much simpler with respect to roadways and traffic patterns, and allow us to implement creative technical solutions that aren’t possible everywhere else due to regulation,” Gray wrote in a Medium post. “We believe there to be a massive un-tapped autonomous ride-sharing business in locations like The Villages — all with approachable autonomy requirements we believe we can solve sooner rather than later.”
Gray has also been in positions for Cruise, Otto, and Tesla, and came aboard Voyage only a month ago and will help the company bring self-driving cars to everybody.
“The autonomous vehicle industry is still so young, it’s an incredibly rare to work side-by-side with someone who has held senior leadership positions at many of the foundational companies in the field,” Voyage CEO Oliver Cameron wrote on Voyage’s blog. “Drew has done just that, contributing to major engineering initiatives at places like Tesla, Cruise, Otto, and Uber ATG.”
Cameron and Gray first met one another in 2016 when they worked together for the self-driving car nanodegree program at Udacity, which is how Voyage moved on and became their own company. Cameron was Udacity's Head of Curriculum while Gray was teaching deep learning classes for the program.
Uber has been reached out for comment but didn't return with a statement.
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