US: Google’s self-driving car unit, Waymo, has signed a deal with ride-hailing start-up Lyft. The deal will bring autonomous vehicles technology into mainstream through pilot projects. The news was confirmed by both Lyft and Waymo.
“Waymo holds today’s best self-driving technology, and collaborating with them will accelerate our shared vision of improving lives with the world’s best transportation,” a Lyft spokeswoman said in a statement.
A Waymo spokesman said, “Lyft’s vision and commitment to improving the way cities move will help Waymo’s self-driving technology reach more people, in more places.”
The partnership explains the fluid nature of relationships in the self-driving-car sector. From technology companies to automakers to firms that manufacture components, dozens of players are angling for a slice of an autonomous vehicle market that many believe will ultimately be a multibillion-dollar industry. To gain an edge and outmuscle rivals, many of these players are forming alliances — and sometimes shifting them.
Details about the deal between Waymo and Lyft were scant, as both the companies declined to comment on what types of products would be brought to market under this deal. The company has said it hopes to find new ways through such partnerships to bring its self-driving technology to the general public after nearly a decade of development.