Lyft And Waymo Sign Deal To Partner On Self-Driving Car Technology
As the self-driving technology gains momentum, Lyft and Waymo have agreed to work together to produce the autonomous vehicles in large quantities. Waymo is owned by Google’s parent company and engaged in the production of self-driving cars.
The announcement comes at a time when Waymo is accusing Uber, the biggest competitor of Lyft of stealing secretes from the company in order to develop its own self-driving technology. This was first reported by The New York Times. According to a statement by Lyft representative, the aim is to collaborate with Waymo in order to launch self-driving vehicles. Lyft has the best self-driving technology and partnering with them will speed up the company’s vision of simplifying transportation around the world.
In a statement, a representative from Waymo confirmed the collaboration adding that they look forward to implementing the partnership which is expected to explore and develop new self-driving technologies aimed at making transportation safer and more accessible.
According to Lyft, the main mission behind the partnership is to improve the manner in which people move in cities and will be using the self-driving technology from Waymo to reach as many people as possible.
The announcement also comes barely days after Uber’s application to transfer the case to private arbitration was denied by U.S. District Judge William Alsup. The judge instead referred the case to the U.S. attorney for more investigation. In addition, the judge granted a partial injunction against Uber. The case was filed by Waymo seeking an injunction against Uber to stop self-driving car plans.
The case rotates on whether Anthony Levandowski, a former employee at Waymo and who later on moved on to lead Uber’s self-driving plans may have left with trade secrets from Waymo. Levandowski is not a respondent in the case but has remained a major element in the case.
Immediately after Levandowski’s depature from Waymo, Uber bought his self-driving truck start-up, Otto. It is this acquisition that Waymo alleges was a way of helping Uber access its self-driving secrets. In April, Uber announced that Levandowski would be stepping down from his role as the head of the self-driving division. Despite this announcement however, he has actively remained involved in the division’s daily activities.