Lyft and Waymo sign deal for self-driving car pilots
Lyft Inc (U.S. ride services company) and Waymo (Alphabet Inc’s self-driving car unit) have launched a self-driving vehicle partnership, bringing together two rivals to dominant ride-sharing service Uber.
Lyft, the No. 2 U.S. ride service by ride volume, in a statement said a deal to launch self-driving pilots would accelerate its vision for transportation and Waymo, which is beginning tests of a self-driving car service in Phoenix, said the partnership would let its technology reach “more people, in more places”. Neither offered any other details of the agreement.
The auto industry and technology companies are racing to develop self-driving technology, which they expect in a number of years will transform transportation, cutting costs of ride services and changing the way people buy and use cars.
Waymo has some of the most advanced self-driving vehicle technology and has been looking for partners, while Lyft offers ride services in about 300 U.S. cities.
Lyft mentioned that the deal with Waymo is non-exclusive. That will allow it to continue a self-driving partnership with U.S. automaker General Motors Co (GM.N), which is also a Lyft investor. GM plans to deploy thousands of self-driving electric cars in test fleets partnering with Lyft beginning 2018, sources told Reuters in February.
Lyft also raised $600 million with a total valuation of $7.5 billion.