Alphabet's Larry Page has decided to tweak Google's ambitious driverless car strategy and make it a lot more feasible, according to The Information. The tech giant has reportedly decided to scrap its plans to manufacture autonomous vehicles with no steering wheels and pedals, like its bubble-shaped prototypes called "koala," at least for now. It's new and more realistic approach involves giving its self-driving tech the Android treatment: it has apparently chosen to collaborate with automakers to create driverless cars with pedals and steering wheels that use Google's technology.
Google has been having a hard time launching a business out of its autonomous car efforts, and Larry Page wants to change that. The big G even hired an Airbnb and a Hyundai exec to spin the self-driving car unit out of Google's experimental X labs and to turn the project into a business. Now, The Information says Google's parent corporation Alphabet is expected to announce a new company soon, thanks to this new plan.
By pairing up with automakers, the tech giant can realistically launch a ridesharing service composed of autonomous vehicles as soon as 2017. However, it still depends on how its Chrysler prototype performs. If you'll recall, Google joined forces with Chrysler to load Pacifica vans with its driverless tech, and they've begun testing out the prototypes a few months ago.