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Waymo Lyft Collaborate on SelfDriving Cars

first_imgSelf-driving car development firm Waymo has inked a deal with ride-hailing service Lyft to bring autonomous vehicle technology to the public.The unexpected partnership promises “pilot projects and product development efforts,” according to The New York Times, which first reported the new tie-up.“We are partnering with Waymo to safely and responsibly launch self-driving vehicle pilots,” a Lyft spokeswoman confirmed in an email to Geek. “Waymo holds today’s self-driving technology, and collaborating with them will accelerate our shared vision of improving lives with the world’s best transportation.”Two years after unveiling its first fully functional self-driving car, Google in December spun off its autonomous vehicle project into a new division.“Waymo stands for a new way forward in mobility,” CEO John Krafcik said at the time. “We’re a self-driving technology company with a mission to make it safe and easy for people and things to move around.”Just not at the hands of an Uber driver.Waymo sued the app-based startup in February, alleging that former Google engineer Anthony Levandowski stole proprietary technology before leaving to found Otto, which Uber later acquired.A judge on Monday rejected Waymo’s request to halt Uber’s self-driving research, but ruled that Levandowski can’t work on any LiDAR-related projects.Despite this very public fight, Waymo remains committed to autonomous tech and believes Lyft is the perfect partner to make that dream a reality.“We’re looking forward to working with Lyft to explore new self-driving products that will make our roads safer and transportation more accessible,” a Waymo spokeswoman 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.”Each firm comes with its own partnerships: Waymo is working with Fiat Chrysler on a fleet of minivans, while Lyft is working with GM to test autonomous Chevy Bolt vehicles.In 2015, Google completed its first fully self-driving car ride, when one of its prototype vehicles chauffeured Steve Mahan, who is legally blind, through Austin.“The ability to complete a fully self-driven trip on everyday public roads, with no test driver, was a big milestone for our team and the history of this technology,” Krafcik said last year. “It was the signal that we could begin to shift our focus from foundational technical work towards launching our own company so we can offer many more rides, in more places, for more people.”Editor’s Note: This story was updated at 12:50 p.m. Eastern with comments from Waymo and Lyft.last_img

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