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Get inspired by Sebastian Thrun, CEO of Kitty Hawk and known as the godfather of self-driving cars!
Kitty Hawk – a company spun off from a moonshot effort to “free the world of traffic” – is developing all-electric, vertical take-off flying machines for everyday use.
As a Stanford professor in 2005, Thrun led a team that won the $2-million Defense Department Grand Challenge to build an autonomous vehicle which drove itself unassisted on a 132-mile course across the Mojave Desert. His winning entry, Stanley, is now on display at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC.
While at Stanford, in 2011 he and colleague Peter Norvig offered their “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence” course online to anyone, for free. Over 160,000 students in more than 190 countries enrolled! The MOOC (which stands for Massive Open Online Course) was born, and Thrun founded the online education company Udacity, with the goal of democratizing education.
Thrun relinquished his tenured Stanford professorship to join Google and founded the company’s semi-secret R&D division called Google X (now called simply X) to develop breakthrough technologies, such as self-driving cars, that make the world a radically better place.
Thrun was honored at LSC’s Genius of New Jersey event on Dec. 2, 2019. Check out this video highlighting his amazing career: