Uber’s head of policy for flying taxis and autonomous vehicles leaves for self-driving car startup Voyage

Uber’s head of policy for autonomous vehicles and urban aviation, Justin Erlich, has left the company to join self-driving car startup Voyage, TechCrunch has learned.

“I was really excited at the prospect of joining such a great early stage team, and by its initial focus on deploying in communities who stand to benefit among the most from this technology – senior citizens,” Erlich told TechCrunch via email.

To lead its policy efforts for autonomous vehicles, Uber recently brought on Miriam Chaum, previously of Philanthropy University. Erlich’s departure comes a couple of months after Uber Chief Product Officer Jeff Holden, who oversaw Uber Elevate, left the company.

“We wish Justin all the best with his new opportunity at Voyage,” an Uber spokesperson told TechCrunch.

At Voyage, Erlich will lead the company’s strategy, policy and legal efforts. Voyage, led by CEO Oliver Cameron, spun out of Udacity last year and has since deployed Level 4 autonomous vehicles in retirement communities in California and Florida.

“From our very first meeting I knew we had to find a way to bring Justin to Voyage,” Cameron told TechCrunch via email. “Justin is one of those rare entrepreneurs who can duck and dive into any world and do a world-class job. We’re excited to have someone of his experience, from his time at Uber ATG and more, as a key leader at Voyage.”

Erlich previously worked under Attorney General Kamala Harris, where he focused on emerging technology and the key policies that the government will want to have in place to ensure technology helps the people of California. During his time, autonomous vehicles were becoming more and more exciting, he told me back in February. You can hear that full conversation below.