A Change for the Google Car that We’ve Grown Used to
No, I’m not talking about the Google Maps car that comes around and gives us the street view that we enjoy, but the Google self-driving cars that are now changing. So far the Google cars have covered over 2.3 million miles and have been driving by advanced robotics for several of those miles. Only recently did Google have approval to drive on some public roads, which was a major breakthrough for the company. It seems there’s about to be some serious changes made that put these self-driving cars under a new way of doing things.
This project that started seven years ago as a huge secret from Google in a lab that was only labeled as “X” will now become its own company and the Google self-driving car will fall under a new name. This new company name will be Waymo. This new company is expected to carry on the project and bring self-driving cars to public roads in the future and offer them in more than one way. Right now the plan isn’t to sell cars under the Waymo name to the public but to offer a ride sharing service that can bring these cars to use as a way to get around like Uber does now.
This new company will still fall under the parent company of Google called Alphabet, but moving this project under a new company name and putting it outside of Google will allow this leader in the technology and online search programs to focus on what it does best. With this change we may see the self-driving technology aboard the Google car to advance much faster than it has in the past. This will hopefully be good for both companies under the Alphabet umbrella of companies to be more successful.
The goal for Waymo is to realize and revolutionize the ride hailing service in a similar fashion to Uber. It’s expected to take a few years before this company can provide this service on a regular basis and by then Uber and Lyft may be well ahead of the game, but the advantage for miles driven does go to Waymo which has been driving around as the Google self-driving car for many more miles that either Uber or Lyft has. We won’t know exactly what will happen until the company begins working toward the next phase of this technology in order to become the service that we’ll want to use.
In the future there may be several ride sharing services to choose from, or someone might get smart and put them all under one umbrella, but you can bet they will be driverless. That’s where all this self-driving technology is headed. Those who are Uber or Lyft drivers might want to be aware of this and understand their employment with these companies is limited to the time it will take to bring self-driving to the world in some form from one of these ride sharing companies.