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by Kevin Coupe

Alphabet, the parent company of Google, placed a serious bet on the autonomous-driving car business yesterday when it turned the Google self-driving car project into a standalone and independent business called Waymo, which stands for "a new way forward in mobility."

Until now, the project has been part of Google's secretive research unit, dubbed Google X.

"It's an indication of the maturity of our technology," says John Krafcik, Waymo's CEO. "We can imagine our self-driving tech being used in all sorts of areas."

Krafcik emphasizes that Waymo has no intention of manufacturing cars, but just wants to be in the business of "developing the technology to drive them. Possible applications would be in ride-sharing, transportation, trucking, logistics, and personal use vehicles, he said."

The story goes on: "Although no deals were announced, the move signals a desire to finally monetize the company's valuable research amid fierce competition from a score of rivals all vying to be the first to launch production-ready self-driving cars."

The advance sounds like an Eye-Opener. Though I'm sure there will be folks who will decry Waymo as an evil company and the technology as a reflection of the end of western civilization ... not just because it has the potential for replacing truck drivers and cabbies, but also could put hundreds of drivers education schools out of business.
KC's View: