Lyft and Waymo join forces to develop self-driving taxis, challenge Uber

Waymo self-driving car prototype

Waymo self-driving car prototype

A newborn partnership has emerged within the fluid and ever competitive self-driving car field. Waymo and Lyft have confirmed a partnership for future self-driving technology.

Waymo is the self-driving car business of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, while Lyft is a ride-sharing firm that’s seen hefty investment from General Motors. The automaker poured $500 million into Lyft in 2016 in its quest to develop a self-driving taxi fleet.

The aim of the new partnership between Waymo and Lyft is to bring both companies together in an effort to accelerate the delivery of driverless technology to the masses through various new initiatives.

Specific details surrounding what both companies plan were not divulged in the announcement. Though, with Lyft’s developed structure of ride sharing, it’s not far-fetched to envision a fleet of Waymo self-driving taxis to be on call for Lyft customers in the future.

Lyft

Lyft

Waymo is currently testing self-driving cars with human passengers in Arizona. That’s relevant because it shows quite a bit of confidence in the company’s technology in regards to safety.

Lyft has previously predicted personal car ownership will be a thing of the past by the year 2025. Waymo could be one key to making that bold claim a reality.

Interestingly, both Waymo and Lyft are competitors of Uber which is also in the race to develop self-driving taxis. Waymo is also in a court battle with Uber over allegations of stolen technology and infringement of patents.

On Monday, California district court judge William Alsup said the engineer at the heart of the case, Anthony Levandowski, a former Google employee who is now at Uber, has to stop all work on Uber’s self-driving car development until the case is concluded. Judge Alsup also ordered Uber to return any files it may have obtained from Waymo through Levandowski. The court trial is set for October.

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