clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Google’s self-driving car unit just hired its first legal chief

Those cars can’t counsel themselves.

Transportation Sec'y Foxx Discusses Future Transportation Trends With Google CEO Justin Sullivan / Getty

Google’s car is lawyering up. The autonomous driving unit under Alphabet has hired its first general counsel, a further sign that the moonshot project is shifting toward becoming a standalone business.

Kevin Vosen, chief legal officer with The Climate Corporation, starts with the self-driving car team later this month, Recode has learned. A rep for the division confirmed the move.

The division is still under X, the experimental lab where it was born, but has hinted it will become a separate Alphabet company this year. Having a lead lawyer will help, particularly given the knotty legal problems likely to arise with autonomous driving. Vosen comes aboard as Tesla is dealing with a highly publicized accident involving its semi-autonomous feature.

The Climate Corporation is an environmental data analysis firm started by Google expats; Vosen has been there since 2008. It sold to Monsanto three years ago.

Google’s car unit also recently hired the top digital office from San Francisco’s transit authority to work on partnerships, as the SF Examiner reported earlier.

This article originally appeared on

Sign up for the newsletter Today, Explained

Understand the world with a daily explainer plus the most compelling stories of the day.