According to Bloomberg's unnamed source, the new company would start small, offering rides in multiple sizes of vehicles in confined areas like college campuses or office parks. The first locations might be near San Francisco, CA, or Austin, TX, because Google already tests its autonomous cars there. The insider didn't indicate when this service might launch.
Google co-founder Sergey Brin discussed the autonomous strategy in September and indicated a desire to partner with OEMs to produce these driverless cars. He imagined using them for ridesharing first before selling the models to consumers. An earlier rumor also hinted that Google might already have a beta version of the service's app that allowed users to hail an autonomous cab from their phone. With this in mind, it's not hard to imagine one of the company's driverless pods picking up college students from their dorms and delivering them to class.
The tech giant signaled a greater emphasis on the autonomous business with two big hires recently. In September, it grabbed former Hyundai Motor America boss John Krafcik as CEO of the driverless division. Google also hired Robert Rose in December who previously oversaw Tesla's Autopilot program.
With over 1.2 million miles on the road, Google's autonomous vehicles have proven themselves safe. Even when they are in accidents, it's the human driver's fault. Maybe now is the time for the tech giant to convert this futuristic tech into a real business.