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Voyage's self-driving technology on the road. Photo: Voyage.

Scoop: Voyage, the autonomous vehicles startup, is bringing on Drew Gray — an industry vet who was a senior self-driving engineer at Tesla, Uber and elsewhere — as chief technology officer.

Why it matters: The company is focusing on providing taxi and fleet services by grafting its self-driving technologies onto existing vehicles. Voyage's system equips Chrysler Pacifica Hybrids, which drive on electric power for about 30 miles, to be autonomous, and later it plans to move into pure electrics, Oliver Cameron, Voyage's CEO, tells Axios.

The context: Cameron says he first collaborated with Gray at Udacity, the online learning provider — Cameron was head of the self-driving program there, and Gray agreed to teach a course.

"Looking back at some of our earliest emails in 2016, it’s easy to see why we wanted to work with Drew at Voyage. He embodies the mentality of a teacher, something so crucial as a CTO. Not only did Drew lead by example while moving so fast, but he made sure everyone learned something along the way," Cameron says.

Driving the news: The rise of driverless cars and ride-sharing are important drivers of vehicle electrification, as most car companies currently plan to merge the technologies in their new vehicles.

  • In a report earlier this year, the energy giant BP forecast that EVs will be 15% of the worldwide fleet in 2040, but account for 30% of passenger car miles traveled. That would be thanks largely to a huge expansion in use of autonomous and shared vehicles.

On the record:

"The autonomous vehicle industry is so nascent that it’s an incredibly rare opportunity to work side-by-side with someone who has held senior leadership positions at many of the key companies in this field. Drew has done just that, at places like Tesla, Cruise, Otto, and Uber ATG," Cameron said.

Go deeper

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
4 mins ago - Sports

College football gone mad

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

In the span of two days, the head coaches of two of the biggest college football programs in America have jumped ship, wooed by even greater challenges — and the almighty dollar.

Driving the news: Lincoln Riley is ditching Oklahoma for USC in a deal reportedly worth $110 million. LSU poached Brian Kelly from Notre Dame with a reported 10-year, $100 million contract.

Biden administration makes first move on data privacy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Biden administration is launching its first big effort on privacy policy by looking at how data privacy issues affect civil rights.

Why it matters: An administration perspective on privacy policy could be key in developing a long-awaited national privacy law by putting the White House stamp on how to regulate privacy.

Axios Investigates

Exclusive: Airbnb hosts Xinjiang rentals on land owned by sanctioned group

Data: Axios research, Airbnb, Australia Strategic Policy Institute's International Cyber Policy Centre; Map: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Airbnb has more than a dozen homes available for rent in China's Xinjiang region on land owned by an organization sanctioned by the U.S. government for complicity in genocide and forced labor, an Axios investigation has found.

Why it matters: The listings expose Airbnb to regulatory risk under U.S. law. They also land yet another American tech company in the crossfire between the U.S. and China.