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Self-driving vehicle firm Aurora adds new leadership

Self-driving vehicle developer Aurora has welcomed several new senior leaders and grown to 500 people, doubling in size over the past year.

The firm has appointed Sagar Behere as its Director of Systems and Safety Engineering, responsible for helping to define and lead Aurora's engineering efforts to ensure its technology meets the highest safety standards. Behere will also direct safety research, driving results that can be pragmatically implemented into real systems as the company deploys its product.

Before joining Aurora, Behere led safety and systems at the Toyota Research Institute and was the head of system architecture and electrical engineering integration at self-driving vehicle firm Zoox. He has a Ph.D. in architecture for autonomous driving from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden.

Aurora has also appointed Tara Green as VP of People. In this role, she will focus on building and scaling the company as the leader for People Operations, Recruiting and IT. Green will be responsible for putting in place systems, such as management and leadership development programs, to help the company's teams work and grow effectively. 


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Prior to joining Aurora, Green was the SVP and Chief People Officer at Originate, a technology design and innovation studio, where she also led human capital strategy for Originate and its clients. She was previously the Head of People and Operations at Node.io, an AI and deep learning startup backed by Mark Cuban. Prior to Node.io, Green held executive positions at a number of startups and enterprises including Wickr, Google, eBay, and Excite@Home.

The company has also recruited Raul Rojas, a renowned educator and roboticist, to build and lead Aurora Academy, a new in-house programme to help employees build expert-level technical skills in the self-driving domain. Rojas will design and facilitate expert-level classes to teach technical skills to the company's staff across a broad spectrum of self-driving topics including software engineering, sensor development, mathematical foundations, visualisation, planning, control and machine learning.

Rojas was previously Professor of Computer Science and Mathematics at the Free University of Berlin and in 2011 co-founded Autonomous GmbH, an autonomy startup acquired by TomTom in 2017. He was first introduced to the world of self-driving cars when he participated in the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge. 


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