Google has moved its car division into a separate branch called Waymo to investigate the opportunities for a self-driving car. Up until now, the research was part of Google X.
Bring vehicles to consumer
Google X can be considered the technology company's laboratory, a testing ground for new ideas. As soon as they are viable, then they are moved into their own branch, like with the self-driving car, which is now part of the Waymo branch.
John Krafcik will be Waymo's CEO and he believes the goal is to give people a safe and easy transportation solution. "What you’re feeling from the Waymo team is confidence that we can bring this [technology] to [people],” Krafcik said. “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.”
Google launched its research into self-driving cars in 2009, but it had not been clear what its intentions were up until now. With Waymo, it seems clear it wants to actually start selling cars. Apparently, it has already planned a semi-autonomous taxi service in 2017 in collaboration with Fiat Chrysler.