Google is making an entire, standalone business for its self-driving cars, and the purpose of this unit is to offer Uber-like rides.
According to Bloomberg, Google's ride-for-hire business will launch under its parent company, Alphabet Inc, sometime next year. Google's self-driving cars are already cruising down public roads in San Francisco and in Austin, Texas, so it's assumed the company's upcoming ride-hailing service, which will include both large and small vehicles, might launch in those cities first.
The service could kick off around college campuses, military bases, or corporate office parks. The idea is that, with this fleet of self-driving cars, Google will rival Uber, which is working on its own driverless-car project. Driverless cars, also known as autonomous vehicles or self-driving cars, are being developed by many companies right now, including Tesla and Apple.
Tesla and Apple have obvious reasons for making self-driving cars: to sell them. While Uber would replace existing drivers or bulk out its fleet, Google, on the other hand, has yet to provide a clear indication of how it'll make money off the driverless cars it has been developing for the last few years. But now, if it's really planning to rival Uber, we can finally understand.
It'll not only challenge Uber but also Lyft and traditional taxis. It's a potential gold mine for the company. But Google executives have only said so far that they’re interested in self-driving cars purely to reduce traffic accidents.