NHTSA Deputy Director to Work for Google's Self-Driving Cars Division
November 19, 2012 1:24 PM
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He will become the director of safety for self-driving cars at Google
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) deputy director will be leaving the government agency to pursue a career with Google.
Ron Medford, deputy director of the NHTSA, has announced that he will be leaving his current position to become the director of safety for
self-driving cars at Google
Medford joined the NHTSA in 2003 and was promoted to deputy director in 2009. Before that, he worked for the Consumer Product Safety Commission for many years. He was a key player in huge NHTSA projects like the 2017-2025 corporate average fuel economy requirements, which upped the fleetwide average to 54.5 MPG in 2025.
"While I am excited to embark on this new adventure, I am deeply saddened to leave this agency and the many incredible staff who have committed your lives to making people safer on our roadways," said Medford. "I am at a loss for words to describe the emotion and gratitude I feel for the people I have come to know and admire at NHTSA.
"Many of you have spent decades here at this special agency because of the powerful impact it has on reducing deaths and injuries that would otherwise leave families devastated — and I will always think of NHTSA and of your work with the utmost respect and appreciation. I have no doubt that your commitment to safety will continue to inspire me in the years to come."
Google has been working hard to get autonomous cars on the road. The tech giant recently
logged 300,000 accident-free miles
in the self-driving cars, and it even got the state of California to
allow these vehicles on its roads
, as long as there is a licensed driver in the passenger seat.
Just last month, the NHTSA said it would work on a
two-to-three year research project
for autonomous vehicles before setting standards for such vehicles.
Ray LaHood, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary, said Medford would be missed at the government agency.
"I often say that safety is the number one priority at the Department of Transportation, and no one individual has worked harder to protect the safety of the traveling public than Ron Medford, "said LaHood.
The Detroit News
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: Revolving door?
11/20/2012 9:28:44 AM
Seems innocent enough. The agency hasn't set any standards yet for his employment to be construed as a possible Thank You. Given his work history, surely he would be an ideal candidate.
"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)
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