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Alphabet Inc (GOOGL) Scales Back Its Self-Driving Car Plans

Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) is known for putting lots of outlandish ideas into practice, but from time to time, it’s forced to scale back its ambitions or kill them altogether.

Today, we got one of the former.

According to The Information, Google is scaling back its autonomous car plans, known internally as “Chauffeur,” and reportedly spinning its self-driving unit from Google X into its own separate company.

So instead of having a fully autonomous vehicle made by Google without a steering wheel and pedals for us pesky humans to gum up the works, you’ll likely get a semi-autonomous vehicle developed by partners, such as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (NYSE:FCAU).

These partner-developed vehicles will likely have more “traditional features,” according to The Information.

Why Did GOOGL Backpedal?

Originally, the plan was for Google’s self-driving vehicles to do away with the wheel and pedals, but Alphabet CEO Larry Page and CFO Ruth Porat deemed this too “impractical.” What isn’t impractical, it seems, is launching a fleet of autonomous taxis by the end of 2017, locking horns with Uber and other nascent companies in the space.

We’ll know more when Google holds a conference later today to discuss the future of its autonomous car unit.

If true, that leaves Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) with one less serious competitor in the race to develop fully autonomous cars for mass consumption under its solar powered umbrella. TSLA stock is up about 3% today, while GOOGL shares are hovering just around 1.4%.

As of this writing, John Kilhefner did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

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Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, https://investorplace.com/2016/12/alphabet-inc-googl-scales-back-its-self-driving-car-plans/.

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