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Report: Google’s self-driving cars to debut as Uber-like service


Google car

Google will reportedly spin-off its self-driving car division into an independent company under the Alphabet umbrella.

According to a Bloomberg source ‘briefed on the company’s strategy’ the transition will take place next year.

The new company will initially be focused on providing rides-for-hire, a la Uber, with a roll out in confined areas, rather than on the open road.

So, the source said, military bases, college campuses or corporate office parks may be first to get the service.

According to the report test cities San Francisco and Austin, Texas could be the first in line for a launch, which would see fleets of small and large fleets available.

The for-hire service could be the first indication of how Google intends to profit from the scheme, in which it has invested untold sums.

A fleet of for-hire cars could also act as an ice-breaker for riders, who could eventually be convinced to buy a self-driving car.

If the self-driving car division is spun off into a standalone company, it would join Google itself, the firm’s robotics division, the Verily life sciences department and the Nest smart home division.

See also: What is Alphabet? Why Google's new parent company is a big deal

Currently, the self-driving car division is within the stored X Labs, but after over a million test miles, the autonomous vehicle look ready to fly the nest.

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