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Following the departure last year of its CEO Tim Kentley-Klay, autonomous vehicle developer Zoox has announced the appointment of Aicha Evans as its new CEO and a member of its Board of Directors. Evans joins Zoox from 12 years at Intel, where she was most recently Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, overseeing the firm’s transition from a PC-centric to a data-centric company. Before that, Evans was General Manager of the Communication and Devices Group, responsible for driving wireless engineering for multi-comm products and Intel platforms. “I’m thrilled to join Zoox and challenge the status quo with an autonomous mobility system built from the ground up,” said Evans. “Mobility is approaching a major inflection point, and Zoox has set itself apart from entrenched players as the only company creating a solution purpose-built to meet the needs of a fully autonomous future. I look forward to helping the company’s exceptionally talented team continue to grow as we unlock more technical and commercial milestones.” “Our team has made incredible progress since we started in 2014,” said Jesse Levinson, Zoox co-founder, CTO, and President. “We believe now more than ever that the full realization of autonomous mobility is a radical departure from last century’s car architecture, and that requires a completely reimagined vehicle and AI solution.” Carl Bass, Zoox’s executive chairman and board member, said: “Aicha is an accomplished business leader and a strategic thinker with the right mix of skills to help turn Zoox’s ambitious vision into a reality. “Zoox’s board of directors looks forward to working closely with Aicha to expand Zoox’s presence in the autonomous vehicle market as Zoox enters its next phase of growth.” Check out the latest autonomous vehicle industry jobs here.
US consumer advocacy body Consumer Watchdog has issued a warning about what it calls the “revolving door” between government auto safety officials and autonomous vehicle manufacturers. The group is concerned that regular moves by senior government officials into the autonomous vehicles sector risk undercutting the public’s faith in industry regulation. Consumer Watchdog highlighted several examples of such moves, pointing to Uber’s recent appointment of Nat Beuse, a senior official at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Consumer Watchdog said that Beuse was “at least the sixth” such official to leave a government position to work for an autonomous vehicle manufacturer. “You can’t trust regulations to protect our safety when the people writing them land high paying jobs with the very companies the rules are supposed to cover,” said John Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy and Technology Project director. “People serving in top government auto safety positions should not take jobs with, serve as a consultant to, or become a lawyer for a company developing self-driving car technology for seven years after leaving their government post,” said Simpson. Other examples cited by Consumer Watchdog included Waymo’s hiring of former NTSB Chair Debbie Hershman ; the company’s appointment of former NHTSA Deputy Director Ron Medford; Zoox’s appointment of former NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind; and General Motors’ hiring of former NHTSA Chief Counsel Paul Hemmersbaugh to oversee legal and policy work on automated vehicles. The body also noted that David Strickland, a former NHTSA administrator, serves as counsel and spokesman for the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets, which involves Waymo, Lyft, Uber, Ford and Volvo.
General Motors (GM) has appointed Dan Ammann as the new CEO of Cruise Automation , replacing co-founder Kyle Vogt, who has been named as the company’s president and chief technology officer. GM said that the appointments, effective from 1 January 2019, represented the next step towards its commercialisation of autonomous vehicle technology. “These appointments further demonstrate our commitment to transforming mobility through the safe deployment of self-driving technology and move us closer to our vision for a future with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. “As we move toward commercial deployment, adding Dan to the strong team led by Kyle is the next step.”  As GM president, Ammann led the company’s 2016 acquisition of Cruise and was responsible for overseeing the carmaker’s relationship with the autonomous vehicles firm. “I’m excited to dedicate 100 percent of my time and energy to helping Kyle and the entire team realize our mission of deploying this technology at scale,” said Ammann. “Dan’s been my partner since General Motors’ initial investment in Cruise and I am thrilled he has agreed to join us full-time,” said Vogt. “Dan’s thorough understanding of our mission and his operational expertise make him the perfect fit to lead Cruise into commercial deployment.”
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