Voyage, the autonomous driving startup that currently operates self-driving cars in retirement communities, has brought on a new CTO, Drew Gray. Gray most recently worked at Uber as its director of engineering, leading the deep learning and perception team in San Francisco, according to his LinkedIn. This comes shortly after the company poached Uber's head of policy for autonomous vehicles and aviation, Justin Erlich, to lead its strategy, policy and legal efforts.
Voyage, Gray said, was the obvious choice because of the mobility needs it addresses for the 125,000 residents in The Villages in Florida.
"Private communities like The Villages are often much simpler with respect to roadways and traffic patterns, and allow us to implement creative technical solutions that aren’t possible everywhere else due to regulation," Gray wrote in a Medium post. "We believe there to be a massive un-tapped autonomous ride-sharing business in locations like The Villages — all with approachable autonomy requirements we believe we can solve sooner rather than later."
Gray, who has also held roles at Tesla, Cruise and Otto, joined Voyage about a month ago to help the company achieve its mission of bringing autonomous vehicles to the masses.
"The autonomous vehicle industry is still so young, it’s an incredibly rare to work side-by-side with someone who has held senior leadership positions at many of the foundational companies in the field," Voyage CEO Oliver Cameron wrote on Voyage's blog. "Drew has done just that, contributing to major engineering initiatives at places like Tesla, Cruise, Otto, and Uber ATG."
Gray and Cameron met back in 2016 when the two collaborated for the self-driving car nanodegree program at Udacity, which Voyage spun out from last year. Cameron was Udacity's head of curriculum and Gray taught some of the deep learning content for the nanodegree program.
I've reached out to Uber and will update this story if I hear back.