Alphabet Inc., parent company (or some may say “Umbrella Corporation”) of Google, has set its sights on establishing a driverless ridesharing company in 2016. And with CEO Larry Page, 71 billion dollars in annual revenue, and an intensive research effort that started in 2009, the goliath conglomerate is likely to bring self-driving vehicles into our daily lives with some serious Quicksilver speed.
Google’s mission to create fully autonomous vehicles began seven years ago as a project in their “moonshot lab,” and has since become a feasible reality and some would even say, an inevitable future. Through a series of autonomous vehicle iterations, which started as self-driving tech systems piggybacked on pre-existing vehicles like the Toyota Prius and Lexus RX450, Google’s car has become a fully integrated prototype (pictured above), which kind of looks like a Fiat 500, or a zenned-out Koala. And although Google’s efforts to bring these vehicles onto public streets have, for the most part, been solely established around San Francisco and Austin, they’ve already racked up over 1 million miles on public roads without being the cause of a single accident.
Now, as a standalone company under the Alphabet banner, this new as-yet-unnamed self-driving ridesharing service is set to make huge waves in a pond crowded with companies like Lyft, Uber, and in all likelihood, Tesla, and Apple as they vie for the holy grail of transportation: a vehicle that comes to your location, picks you up, and delivers you to your destination, all without the need for a driver.
You can check out a video of Google’s fully autonomous car in action, as well as our first look at Apple’s electric “possibly self-driving” vehicle below:
What do you think of Alphabet starting a dedicated self-driving ridesharing company in 2016? Are you excited to never have to deal with a steering wheel ever again, or is it hard to trust a modestly sentient Koopa Troopa with the lives of you and your loved ones? Let us know in the comments section below!