Shares of Google parent company Alphabet (GOOGL) - Get Report were higher in late afternoon trading on Tuesday, after the company announced earlier today that it would separate its self-driving car business into a new unit called Waymo. The name stands for "way forward in mobility."
A lot of people have been questioning why Google has been so slow to roll out its self-driving car technology, BloombergTV's technology reporter Emily Chang said on Tuesday afternoon's "Bloomberg Markets." Google has already fallen behind ride-sharing service Uber, which offers self-driving rides to customers through a partnership with Volvo (VOLVY) (VOLAF)
"Perhaps this is a move to sort of accelerate the transformation of the Google self-driving car project," Chang noted.
That's the message the Waymo team seemed to put out at the press conference in San Francisco earlier today. "What you're feeling from the Waymo team is confidence that we're close to bringing this to a lot of people," Warmo CEO John Krafcik said at the event.
From the team's comments people can infer that this is a move meant to help Waymo get cars on the road more quickly, Chang said. The technology already works "pretty well" according to sources, she noted.
The question going forward will be whether Waymo can find more partnerships besides its existing one with Chrysler (FCAU), she claimed. "We're seeing other automakers and other tech companies partner up and Google, to a certain extent, has been left behind."
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