Google's Self-Driving Project Is Spun Off Into New Division: Waymo

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Google's self-driving car project is now its own company called Waymo and is headed by CEO John Krafcik.

Waymo logo
Waymo logo Credit: Waymo/Alphabet Inc.

The company exists under Google parent company Alphabet and will operate like a "venture-backed startup," Mr. Krafcik said at a press event today. It will be responsible for developing self-driving technology and will explore opportunities in trucking, logistics and automaker partnerships.

He said that the project deployed the first driverless ride -- without a steering wheel or brake pedal -- in Austin, Texas, in October 2015 and has since operated 10,000 similar tests.

Mr. Krafcik, 55, the former Hyundai Motor America CEO and longtime Ford executive, joined Google in September 2015.

In a corporate blog post, Mr. Krafcik stated that "Waymo stands for a new way forward in mobility."

He added: "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."

Katie Burke is a reporter for Automotive News. Ad Age reporter E.J. Schultz contributed to this report.

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