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Google names former Hyundai exec head of self-driving car unit

by Todd Haselton | September 14, 2015September 14, 2015 10:20 am PDT


Google has tapped a former Detroit auto industry executive to lead its self-driving car unit. The company will presumably exist under Alphabet, the parent company of Google that is led by Larry Page, though those details have not yet been disclosed.

John Krafcik will serve as the CEO of the self-driving car unit later this month, the Associated Press said on Monday. According to his LinkedIn profile, Krafcik served as an executive at Ford for 14 years, where he worked on product development, before he left for Hyundai. He climbed the ladder there, eventually serving as Hyundai Motor America president and CEO until December 2013. He most recently served as the president and director of TrueCar.

“Self-driving cars could save 100s of lives, give people greater mobility & free us from things we find frustrating about driving today,” Krafcik said in a Tweet on Sunday. “This is a great opportunity to help Google develop the enormous potential of self-driving cars. I can’t wait to get started,” he said in another.

Google is already testing self-driving cars on public roads in California. Under Krafcik, perhaps we’ll see those tests become more widespread and, eventually, self driving available for all.

John Krafcik AP

Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...