The Alphabet (Google) self-driving car unit is spinning out as a separate subsidiary within Alphabet, called Waymo.
This is not a surprise, because Google has been telegraphing this move for months.
That said, it’s not obvious what the practical implications of the move are.
As an independent company under the Alphabet umbrella, Waymo will likely be less insulated from scrutiny regarding its progress and performance as a business, so its next steps in terms of partnership and sales or licensing model will be very interesting to watch.
It’s not obvious to me why that would be the case, unless Alphabet starts breaking out Waymo’s financial details in its annual reports. Alphabet hasn’t done that with other business units, though, so it seems unlikely they would do that with Waymo.