SAN FRANCISCO – The self-driving car project that Google started seven years ago has grown into a company called Waymo.
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The new identity announced Tuesday marks another step in an effort to revolutionize the way people get around. Instead of driving themselves, people will be chauffeured in robot-controlled vehicles if Waymo, automakers and ride-hailing service Uber realize their vision within the next few years.
Waymo is within Google's parent company, Alphabet, which was created last year to oversee far-flung projects that have nothing to do with Google's main business of online search and advertising.
Google began working on its self-driving technology in 2009 in a secretive lab called "X'' run by company co-founder Sergey Brin. Since then, its cars have covered more than 2.3 million miles while steered by a robot.