John Krafcik, right, with Ohio Gov. John Kasich: "Thanks to John Kasich for your commitment to exploring the next generation of technology and mobility."
DETROIT -- Even though self-driving-car company and Google spinoff Waymo didn't make any news at the Detroit auto show this week, CEO John Krafcik showed up at Cobo Center in a self-driving Chrysler Pacifica.
While there, Ohio Gov. John Kasich popped inside the car with Krafcik to get a rundown on the test car's capabilities. Ohio has been trying to attract more automotive business and has expressed interest in being a place where Waymo could expand its cold-weather testing.
"Impromptu ride to NAIAS," Krafcik wrote in a tweet. "Thanks to John Kasich for your commitment to exploring the next generation of technology and mobility."
Waymo tests vehicles in California, Arizona, Texas, Washington state, Nevada and Michigan. The company said in October it was adding Michigan to its test states to give its cars more experience in snowy conditions, which can be difficult for self-driving cars to navigate.
Waymo opened a development center near Detroit in Novi, Mich., in May 2016, working with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to integrate Waymo's self-driving technology into Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans.
The surprise meeting with Kasich took place in the shadow of General Motors' headquarters in Detroit. GM and Waymo are becoming serious competitors in the self-driving space. Last week, GM said its self-driving car fleet will ditch steering wheels and pedals in 2019.