Google’s self-driving car is graduating from a research project into a stand alone business, which is being seen as a major step towards it becoming a commercial operation.
The Wall Street Journal reports that parent company Alphabet is completing a series of corporate and legal moves to become its own business,
It quotes an interview with boss Astro Teller who says that, as its own stand-alone business under Alphabet, the car group would likely be expected to soon begin generating revenue, though not necessarily a profit at first. It adds that Teller declined to disclose the car project’s planned business model.
“The world is going to have cars that are sold to individuals and cars that are shared by individuals, and which one Alphabet does, we have our thinking on it,” it quotes him as saying. “But right now we’re very focused on safety.”
It adds that Teller said Alphabet will likely roll out its self-driving cars incrementally over the next several years as they improve with more time on the road. For example, the group could choose to launch the cars commercially in just a handful of cities with favorable roads and weather, before expanding to more challenging roadways and climates.