Google’s self-driving cars business is ready to “graduate” from its experimental phase and into its own independent entity outside of Google, according to CEO John Krafcik, speaking at the Nikkei Innovation Forum in Palo Alto on Wednesday.
“Around a year ago we announced this new Alphabet structure and the ‘bet’ of Alphabet is sort of a shorthand for these new entities that are forming within this new corporate structure,” explained Krafcik. “So this self driving car project is on its way to what we call a graduating project.”
Google’s announcement to spin-off its driving car business follows a similar decision last December to create Verily Life Sciences (formerly Google Life Sciences), focused on using technology to better understand health, as well as prevent, detect, and manage disease.
“You may think of the self driving car project as a part of ‘X’, our sort of long range moonshot term project. We’re moving out of ‘X’ and soon out of Alphabet completely,” said the auto-industry veteran. “Like other companies before us. You may have heard of Verily which was Google’s health science company that is now an independent entity within the Alphabet structure. So this self driving car project like Verily will soon be its own independent entity in the world.”
Krafcik did not elaborate on the future name for the independent autonomous car unit, which will happen ”soon.”