Alphabet’s self-driving car operation to become stand-alone business

The car group’s finances were separated from Google’s  research lab X on Jan. 1 this year, says X chief Astro Teller, speaking at the WSJDLive 2016 conference. The team is now completing a series of corporate and legal moves to become its own business. It’s a major step in the vehicles’ path to commercial operations, writes theWSJ’s Jack Nicas, and as a stand-alone operation, the car group would likely be expected to soon begin generating revenue (though not necessarily a profit).  “The world is going to have cars that are sold to individuals and cars that are shared by individuals, and which one Alphabet does, we have our thinking on it,” says Teller. “But right now we’re very focused on safety.”