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Google Hires First GC for Self-Driving Car Biz

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By Jonathan R. Tung, Esq. on July 13, 2016 3:59 PM

Perhaps sensing blood in the water because of Tesla's driverless car legal troubles, Google Alphabet's self-driving car arm has named its first general counsel -- just in time for increased scrutiny by U.S. regulators over autonomous driving vehicle technology.

Google has said publicly that there is no current timetable for releasing self-driving cars to the public. And after the recent unwelcome attention to the sector, we can understand the cautionary language.

Bringing in the Talent

It has been confirmed that Climate Corporation's Chief Legal Officer Kevin Vosen will be joining the Google lab currently working on the company's self-driving vehicle. In a way it's a bit of a return to his roots as Climate Corporation was created by a bunch of employees who left Google. The company has since been acquired by non-Google interests.

Other Recent Crashes

When it comes to self-driving technology, it appears that there are still a few wrinkles to be ironed out. Practically all of the tech world is aware of the nation's very first fatal car crash partially attributed to auto-mated/self-driving tech. Earlier this year, Joshua Brown was killed when his auto-piloted Model S failed to brake and crashed underneath an 18 wheeler, finally ending up on the side of the road.

Google has had its own problems perfecting its driverless technology. Recently, a self-driving tester SUV owned by the company crashed into a Bay Area bus by turning into traffic without checking for oncoming traffic. The event was filmed in its entirety and the company has since at least admitted that the bus driver was not at fault.

Incidentally, the Google car involved in the crash was one of the company's refitted Lexus SUVs, not one of the prototypes that look like rolling koala bears.

X ... Still Under Alphabet

The self-driving project began in the Google X lab, and still operates there, but there are rumors that X will become a separate company under the Alphabet label in the near future.

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