In 2005, Sebastian Thrun was busy building a driverless car at Stanford to prepare for a race that would eventually lead to him being hired by Google to head up their most ambitious "moonshot" projects.
And it began with Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin turning up to the race in a disguise.
Thrun had built a self-driving car to compete in the DARPA Grand Challenge – a 132 mile off-road course through mountain roads in California. The Stanford Racing Team with their vehicle named Stanley came first.
"My team turned out to be the lucky winner for whatever reason," Thrun told CNBC in an interview for the new series "The Brave Ones".
"And we got the attention of the Google founders. Yeah. So Larry came to the race itself and … came disguised with, like, a hat and sunglasses so he wouldn't be bothered by everybody. But … he had a keen interest in this. Larry has been a believer in this technology for much longer than I even knew. And so was Sergey. And they really want to understand what's going on."