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December 9, 2016

Alphabet Self-Driving Car Unit to Become Own Company

Google test car

Alphabet’s self-driving car project is about to become its own company.

Google's driverless car

Google’s driverless car

According to a report from Recode, Alphabet is in the process of hiring executives as the self-driving unit gets ready to leave Lab X. It will then, like Google and YouTube, be its own entity under the Alphabet umbrella.

Kevin Vosen was hired as chief legal officer and the search is underway for a “head of real estate” — in other words, a person who can find a new space for the self-driving unit when it leaves Lab X.  A job listing spotted by Recode, indicates major plans for growth both in size and staffing levels.

“Our path forward includes significant growth in both team size and geographical footprint,” the job listing reads. “Now we [sic] searching for a Head of Real Estate and Workplace Services to help usher our project into this next chapter.”

All positions will answer to former Hyundai CEO John Krafcik, who was hired as the self-driving car project’s top boss.

The company’s self-driving cars are currently being tested in four U.S. cities: Mountain View, CA, Austin, TX, Kirkland, WA and Metro Phoenix, AZ.

Alphabet has said it hopes to have self-driving cars in the hands of consumers by 2020.