Google's self-driving cars have logged more than 2 million miles (3.2 million km) of testing over the last seven years. Now the project has entered a new phase with the announcement that the self-driving car venture has been spun off into Waymo, a new company under the Alphabet umbrella. The aim is to commercialize the technology more widely.

Google unveiled the smiling face of its first fully self-driving vehicle in 2014, which did away with unnecessary features like a steering wheel, pedals and mirrors. The car hit the streets the following year, and apart from a couple of minor incidents, the program has been a pretty solid success.

The new moniker of Waymo apparently stands for "a new way forward in mobility," and to that end, the company's mission is to start commercialize autonomous vehicles, and build products for the general public. One of the next steps, according to Waymo, is to have its self-driving cars begin to ferry people around on everyday errands or commutes to work, in addition to further experimenting with the technology.

The past and future of Waymo is explained in the video below.

Source: Waymo