Google self driving car project becomes independent company called Waymo
California,Dec14:Alphabet Inc’s Google self-driving car project will become an independent entity within the technology company called Waymo, executives said on Tuesday, signalling a willingness to finally monetize its valuable research amid fierce competition from rivals.
The announcement marks a crucial step in the development of Google’s high-profile program, now in its seventh year. It has been at the forefront of self-driving technology, but is now being challenged by companies from Uber Technologies Inc to Apple Inc and traditional car companies.
Google has been striving to perfect an autonomous vehicle that will require zero human intervention – a philosophy at odds with some other automakers developing partial autonomy, which requires some driver supervision. Google’s self-driving cars have driven over 2 million miles and testing now focuses on the trickiest scenarios faced by cars on surface streets.
Google has expanded its program over the past year, hiring more engineers while doubling its testing centres from two U.S. cities to four. The company also plans to double its testing fleet with 100 Chrysler minivans through its partnership with Fiat Chrysler