Google’s former top executive engineers create startup for self-driving cars

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA - SEPTEMBER 25: A Google self-driving car is displayed at the Google headquarters on September 25, 2012 in Mountain View, California. California Gov. Jerry Brown signed State Senate Bill 1298 that allows driverless cars to operate on public roads for testing purposes. The bill also calls for the Department of Motor Vehicles to adopt regulations that govern licensing, bonding, testing and operation of the driverless vehicles before January 2015. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

New self-driving cars are to join the league and this time, it is by two people – Dave Ferguson and Jiajun Zhu- who worked on Google’s self-driving car. Ferguson who is lead engineer software and Zhu that was one of the first founders of Google’s car project left the company with Chris Urmson, a chief technology officer. It is, however, not yet clear where Urmson is headed.

After an internship that was brief which Zhu had at Intels in 2005, he joined Google as the major software engineer for its self-driving project. For Ferguson, he made an entrance into the company in 2011 as the major machine-learning engineer and computer-vision on the said project. It was at Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute (which has been known to be at the forefront of car innovations) that Ferguson started his career.


There isn’t much the company is willing to divulge, but from Hanuschik, we know the following:

  • There will be the presence of level 4 that is going to be the geek for self-driving cars that are hands-free.
  • The car will be the first of Nuro’s plan of development. We are yet to know what they intend to produce next, but we are guessing it will not just be concerned with transportation.
  • The reason we concluded on this is because Nuro’s team involves robotics and engineers, self-driving and artificial intelligence with experience that had previously shipping or developing products on a wide range such as Google Image search, Google street view, Nexus cameras, self-driving cars for Google, the Mars Exploration and Curiosity Rovers and other surgical tools.
  • The company has refused to state how much it has raised in funds and the source(s).
  • Come two to four years to come, Nuro will debut its first product.

Although Nuro is not giving away information on how it is running and operating, this, however, has not deterred their recruiting effort, according to Hanuschik who also won’t say much about what the company plans to do at the moment.

The company in a statement said that for most start-ups especially in AI and also robotics, they have a technical depth to them, but seem to lack other things is required to build and ship electromechanical devices that are complex in an industry that is heavily regulated. They added that for Nuro, it has all the necessary experience that is required in shipping products that are complex which includes business, design, strategic product thinking and regulation.