CES 2019: CEO Chris Urmson Says Aurora Is ‘Building the Driver’ for Driverless Cars

Aurora CEO Chris Urmson, who co-founded the company with a former Tesla ($TSLA) engineer and robotics expert, told Cheddar from the convention center floor that Aurora was “building the driver” for driverless cars.

That means engineering the software, sensors, and data services that will allow autonomous vehicles to travel from point A to point B efficiently and safely.

Autonomous cars “will ultimately be the world’s safest driver,” said Urmson, who was previously the CTO for Google’s Waymo unit. But first, he said, they must have the technology to understand the world around them, anticipate what’s happening next, and then navigate through it. That involves building mapping technology that will eventually allow a car to navigate a new city with the same, or better, “knowledge” that drivers have of the streets of their hometowns.