As part of a new plan to make its driverless cars a separate entity within the Alphabet Inc. corporate umbrella next year, Google intends to build a ride for hire service using these autonomous vehicle—making them a viable competitor to Uber.
According to an anonymous source within the company, the service, which doesn’t yet have a launch date, will start by offering transportation within confined areas such as school campuses and office parks within the San Francisco, California, and Austin, Texas, areas, where Google currently tests their self-driving cars. The fleet of vehicles offered for hire will range from small to large in size.
The service was originally hinted at back in September when Google co-founder Sergey Brin indicated that he imagined the driverless cars would initially be used for ridesharing before being offered for sale to the general public. And rumors have been floating around that Google has already developed an app to allow users to hire an autonomous car from their phone.
In creating a service that rivals that of Uber and Lyft, Google is demonstrating how it intends to generate income from the self-driving cars they have been working on since 2009. And with these vehicles have already logged over 1.2 million miles on the road, it is clear that the technology has proven itself to be a safe and feasible alternative to traditional forms of transportation.