ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronEye IconIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintSite TitleTitle ChevronIcon Twitter
Business

Google's self-driving car project set to go independent

 (placeholder image)
Google's self-driving car project has been testing prototype vehicles.   © Kyodo

EAST PALO ALTO, U.S. -- Google parent Alphabet soon will split off the autonomous-vehicle division of the company's X innovation lab into a standalone subsidiary, aiming to accelerate development amid a race with rivals worldwide to get the technology to market.

John Krafcik, CEO of Google's self-driving car project, speaks at the Nikkei Innovation Forum in East Palo Alto, California, on Oct. 26.

The project is "partway through what we call a graduation," division CEO John Krafcik said at the Nikkei Innovation Forum here Wednesday. "We are moving out of X and will soon become [an] independent entity." Krafcik did not provide further details, such as the timing of the move or the new company's name.

The effort, launched in 2009, aims to commercialize vehicles that are fully autonomous, without even a steering wheel, accelerator or brake pedal.

Google has been moving lately to accelerate progress. The tech giant brought on Krafcik, a U.S. auto industry veteran and former president of Hyundai Motor America, as head of the self-driving car project in September 2015. The division reached a deal in May with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to jointly develop 100 test vehicles.

The team created a prototype based on the Pacifica minivan in 22 weeks, and testing has begun on a private track in California, Krafcik said.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 1 month for $0.99

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends July 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media