Back in the day before many carmakers started to get in on the trend, Google was one of the earlier companies exploring the concept of self-driving cars. In fact Google is so confident that self-driving cars are the future that their prototypes pretty much do not allow any kind of input from its human passengers.
However that is changing, at least according to a report from The Information (paywall; via International Business Times). The report claims that instead of focusing on fully autonomous cars, Google will instead turn to the creation of semi-autonomous cars and are apparently aiming to create a fleet of such taxis and put them on the roads by the end of next year.
It is said that Google is feeling the pressure from the likes of Uber who already have a similar fleet in place. Not to mention there are various other companies around the world where similar concepts are being tried out. The report goes on to say that this effort could eventually be spun out into its own company.
At the moment the self-driving car initiative falls under Google X, but apparently Alphabet (Google’s parent company) could be considering turning it into its own company so that it can have a more sustainable business model.