Google’s Self-Driving Vehicle Division Readying For Split From Alphabet X, Reportedly

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We’ve been reporting on Google’s self-driving technology development for many years now, often stimulating the question: when will the company’s tech actually be viable?

Google_Self_driving_car_lineupMaybe not that long from now, going by the fact that the autonomous car division has been going on a hiring splurge as of late, picking up various exec-level employees that will be necessary for a split from parent company Alphabet X, according to Recode.

Presuming that analysis is accurate, why else would the division be preparing to split from Alphabet X if not to commercialize in some way? There are a number of possibilities … but a move towards commercialization does seem most likely.

This seems to match from earlier statements by project head John Krafcik (formerly a CEO for Hyundai) about a split from under Alphabet X.

google_self_driving_cuteAmongst the new hires: a new head of real estate and a new Chief Legal Officer. This suggests that physical expansion outside of the current Google campus is very likely.

Where will Google be headed? Considering the recent news about autonomous vehicle legalization in Michigan, you can probably take a likely accurate guess yourself. I wonder if the project intends to continue entirely independently or if closer ties with established auto manufacturers will follow shortly.

As background here for those unfamiliar with the names, Alphabet X is the renamed Google X division, renamed following the Google–Alphabet restructuring a couple of years ago. Alphabet X focuses on the development of long-shot technologies and services. The autonomous driving tech project may well be one of the first of these “long shots” to prove itself viable commercially.


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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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