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Google reportedly plans to spin off its self-driving car business

Its autonomous driving tech would become a ride-for-hire company under Alphabet's wing.

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Google's self-driving car technology might not remain Google-branded for much longer. Bloomberg sources claim that Google plans to turn its autonomous car business into a separate outfit under its parent company Alphabet's wing. Reportedly, Google hopes that the division will become a ride-for-hire business, a bit like Uber minus the driver. Since self-driving cars aren't street legal outside of testing, the vehicles might initially be limited to driving around colleges, large office campuses and other "confined" places where walking can sometimes be a hassle.

Google isn't commenting on the apparent leak. However, it previously suggested that the self-driving division would make a "good candidate" for one of Alphabet's growing number of stand-alone businesses. Whatever's true, a spinoff would be a big deal -- it'd indicate that Google sees its driverless technology becoming a viable product in the near future, not just a nice-to-have experiment that might pan out in a few years.

[Image credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]

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