Published: Fri, December 16, 2016
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Google creates dedicated autonomous auto company - Waymo

More notable recent Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) news were published by: which released: "Alphabet Inc.'s Self-Driving Car Project Becomes a Company, Gets a Name" on December 14, 2016, also with their article: "GOOG Stock: Can Alphabet Inc Exploit This “Mega-Trend”?" published on December 15, 2016, published: "How a 5% Move in Alphabet Inc (GOOG) Stock Is Worth 700%" on December 12, 2016. But the company has not popped out of nowhere and this is just a renaming of the tech behemoth's self-driving division, formerly called the Google self-driving vehicle project.

On Tuesday, Waymo Chief Executive John Krafcik declined to speculate on how quickly self-driving cars will spread, but said, "we are close to bringing this to a lot of people". However, Krafcik said vehicles that use Waymo technology may still have a steering wheel, due to regulatory issues.

"As a standalone business, our goal is to commercialise this technology and build products that can help millions of people", said Waymo. Currently, Google's autonomous vehicle testing fleet includes Lexus SUVs and its own pod cars.

“It is like driving with a very good driver, ” Mahan said. Krafcik has claimed that Waymo will exist as an arm of Google's parent company - Alphabet, and will operate as a venture-backed start-up.

The new company, called Waymo, falls under the Alphabet umbrella.

At the event, Waymo provided details about its first fully autonomous trip, transporting a blind man around Austin, Texas, in October 2015. Approximately, the self-driving cars will appear on the market between 2017 to 2021. Apparently, it has already planned a semi-autonomous taxi service in 2017 in collaboration with Fiat Chrysler. Yet some regulators, especially in California, require wheels and pedals, and the company realized making its own cars would be too hard. And to kick-off its mission statement of moving forward, Krafcik announced a key milestone had been reached a year ago in having self-driving cars on public roads. "I think we've been really clear that we're not a auto company". Waymo has 100 hybrid Chrysler minivans with sensors that will join 60 prototype autonomous vehicles tested in Silicon Valley.

For now, there's plenty of work left to be done in creating a more comfortable passenger experience, improving mapping technology, and ensuring that self-driving cars can successfully navigate inclement weather and adverse road conditions. Competitors, including Tesla and Uber, are pushing aggressively toward commercializing self-driving technologies.

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