Google is planning to turn its self-driving car division into a standalone company next year.
The new company will also offer rides for hire, challenging Uber and Lyft with its fleet of self-driving cars. The new standalone business will fall under the Alphabet Inc. corporate umbrella, a person briefed on the strategy recently told Bloomberg.
The company’s autonomous vehicles have driven more than one million miles on public roads with testing being conducted mainly in San Francisco, California and Austin, Texas. Logically, the company would launch first in those two cities.
In August, Google reorganized itself into a conglomerate sporting the name Alphabet, Inc. The company’s plan is to spin off numerous divisions into standalone businesses over the next few years including its robotics division, its health care company Verily, the Google Ventures and Google Capital investment firms and Google Inc., the search engine company. Currently, the self-driving unit resides in a research division called Google X.
Recently, Google X hired John Krafcik to be CEO of its cars project. Krafcik has an auto industry veteran with previous stints at TrueCar Inc., Hyundai and Ford.
[Source: Automotive News]