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General Motors, Lyft and Cray execs join Aurora

(Photo credit: Aurora)

Among the self-driving technology set, the summer of 2020 will be remembered for the pandemic and uptick in development and commercialization of autonomous trucking.

A case in point is autonomous vehicle company Aurora, which this summer expanded testing of its autonomous Class 8 trucks to Texas and moved to a new Pittsburgh headquarters.

On Wednesday, the Amazon-backed company announced a few more growth indicators. It revealed new information about its headcount, claiming 600 employees, up from 500 in May. Also announced: three new executive hires — from General Motors, Lyft and Cray Inc.

General Motors veteran David Maday signed on as Aurora’s first VP of global business development. He most recently led corporate development and global M&A activities at General Motors as the OEM seeks to accelerate electrification and autonomous driving.  

SVP of Software Engineering Stathis Papaefstathiou was the SVP of research and development for Cray, where he led the development of the next-generation exascale class supercomputing line, Shasta. He also spent more than a decade at Microsoft.

VP of Finance Richard Tame, formerly head of finance at Lyft, led finance support for its R&D and Level 5 self-driving divisions. Prior to that he worked at Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon.

“While developing the best technology safely and quickly is at the core of everything we do,” the company stated in a press release, “bringing the Aurora Driver to market is also a top priority – first in middle-mile trucking applications, then in last-mile goods delivery and finally in passenger mobility networks. Our new leaders strengthen our ability to do this.”

F3: Future of Freight Festival


The second annual F3: Future of Freight Festival will be held in Chattanooga, “The Scenic City,” this November. F3 combines innovation and entertainment — featuring live demos, industry experts discussing freight market trends for 2024, afternoon networking events, and Grammy Award-winning musicians performing in the evenings amidst the cool Appalachian fall weather.

Linda Baker, Senior Environment and Technology Reporter

Linda Baker is a FreightWaves senior reporter based in Portland, Oregon. Her beat includes autonomous vehicles, the startup scene, clean trucking, and emissions regulations. Please send tips and story ideas to [email protected].