Google driverless car unit to be stand-alone business

Service could be launched in San Francisco and Austin, Texas

Fleets of Google driverless cars could be deployed first in confined areas such as college campuses, military bases or corporate office parks. Photograph: Bloomberg

Fleets of Google driverless cars could be deployed first in confined areas such as college campuses, military bases or corporate office parks. Photograph: Bloomberg

 

Google plans to make its self-driving cars unit, which will offer transport for hire, a stand-alone business under its parent company Alphabet Inc next year, Bloomberg reported.

The service could be launched in San Francisco and Austin, Texas locations, where it has tested the cars extensively, a source said. The fleets could be deployed first in confined areas such as college campuses, military bases or corporate office parks, Bloomberg reported.

Alphabet declined to comment.

The company reorganised itself in August to separate the core web advertising business from newer ventures such as driverless cars.

Under the new structure, search, advertising, maps, YouTube and Android are part of the Google unit. Alphabet’s businesses include connected home products maker Nest, venture-capital arm Google Ventures, and Google X, the secretive research arm which houses the self- driving car unit.

Alphabet’s pet project of driverless cars started in 2009 and it along with other automakers have said the technology to build self-driving cars should be ready by 2020. The company said in July it was testing a fleet of 23 specially equipped Lexus prototypes.– (Reuters)