© waymo Electronics Production | December 14, 2016

Google spins off driverless car unit – Say hello to Waymo

For nearly eight years Google working on solving one part of the factors behind the lives that are lost on the road every year – the human factor, by simply taking it out of the equation all together.
The goal from the start was to take the science fiction of self-driving cars and make it into something of a reality.

“Today, we’re taking our next big step by becoming Waymo, a new Alphabet business. Waymo stands for a new way forward in mobility. We’re a self-driving technology company with a mission to make it safe and easy for people and things to move around,” Chief Executive Officer, John Krafcik, writes in blog post.

Waymo may be a new company, but it comes ready with the self-driving technology developed over many years at Google.

“On October 20, 2015, we completed the world’s first fully-self driven car ride. Steve Mahan rode alone in one of our prototype vehicles, cruising through Austin’s suburbs. Steve is legally blind, so our sensors and software were his chauffeur,” Krafcik says in the post.

The fact that a fully self-driven trip on everyday public roads, with no test driver, was a completed marks a milestone for the team – as well as for the technology. This was, according to Krafcik, a signal that the team could begin to shift our focus from foundational technical work towards launching our their company – offering more rides, in more places, for more people.

“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,” Krafcik concludes.


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