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

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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.

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