Google is well-known for having pioneered self-driving vehicles and the automated “Google Car” has itself become a sort of go-to image of what an autonomous car will look like. Now the division of Google working on vehicle automation has spun off into its own little company.
Google itself is owned by a parent company called Alphabet, which oversees most of the spinoffs that are associated with Google. The self-driving car group will now be called Waymo and is working as a sort of startup with plans to eventually have an autonomous car suite of tools ready for purchase by equipment manufacturers including automakers.
In a post introducing Waymo, John Krafcik noted that since 2009, Google SDC prototypes have spent the equivalent of 300 years of driving time on the road.
Since the early days of the project, our work has been shaped by feedback we’ve heard from the communities that will most benefit from self-driving cars. Our next step as Waymo will be to let people use our vehicles to do everyday things like run errands, commute to work, or get safely home after a night on the town.