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The division of Alphabet involved in autonomous vehicle technology. Standing for the "Way Forward in Mobile," Google formed Waymo in 2016 after seven years of self-driving R&D. If it seems strange that a search engine company is a major pioneer in driverless cars, their effectiveness and success lies greatly with the software algorithms.

Since 2009, some 23 Google-equipped Lexus SUVs have been driven by Google employees mostly in Mountain View, California but also in Austin, Phoenix and Kirkland, Washington. Starting in 2017, the technology debuted in a fleet of Chrysler Pacifica minivans.

With more than two million self-driving miles, there were only a dozen minor accidents, and they were caused primarily by other drivers rear ending the Google car. However, in 2016, a Google car changing lanes hit an oncoming bus at low speed. Fortunately, there were no injuries. See Alphabet and autonomous vehicle.

Waymo Prototype
In 2014, Google designed a prototype self-driving car from scratch to further test the technology. These vehicles have no steering wheels or pedals. In 2015, they joined the Lexus fleet in Mountain View and Austin. (Image courtesy of Google, Inc.)