Google Hires Truecar’s Krafcik to Head Its Driverless Car Unit

Google Inc said it named auto industry veteran John Krafcik as chief executive of its self-driving car project from late September.

With the hiring of Krafcik, currently the president of automotive pricing terminal Truecar Inc and a former CEO of Hyundai Motors America, Google is starting to look at the project as a potential and relevant business in the near future.

Chris Urmson, who has been head of the self-driving car program since 2009, will continue overseeing the project as its technical lead, the company said in an emailed statement.

Google’s pet project of driverless cars started in 2009 with an intention to revolutionize the automobile industry. The project is still a part of Google X lab, though the company did not rule out the possibility of it being a part of its parent Alphabet in the near future.

Google X lab also works on other projects like Loon, which aims to provide wireless Internet to the most-remote areas in the world via smart balloons and is currently being tested in the Southern hemisphere.

The search engine giant last week began the rollout of Android Pay, a one-touch payment app on Android devices, in more than 1 million locations in the United States. The payment service can be used through Android devices with near-field communication (NFC) technology and Google’s KitKat 4.4+ operating system.

Android Pay will compete with Apple Pay in the mobile payments market, which research firm IDC estimates at $1 trillion (roughly Rs. 66,34,449 crores) in 2017. Existing users of Google Wallet app can access Android Pay through an update, while new users can download it from Google Play store in the next few days.

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