Waymo, Lyft team up to test self-driv­ing cars

New Straits Times - - Busi­ness -

SAN FRAN­CISCO: Waymo, the self-driv­ing car unit of Google par­ent Al­pha­bet, has reached an agree­ment with ridesharer Lyft to test self-driv­ing car tech­nol­ogy, said the com­pa­nies on Sun­day.

Waymo and Lyft are join­ing forces against rideshar­ing gi­ant Uber, which is rac­ing to de­velop its own self-driv­ing ve­hi­cles.

“We’re look­ing for­ward to work­ing with Lyft to ex­plore new self-driv­ing prod­ucts that will make our roads safer and trans­porta­tion more ac­ces­si­ble,” said a Waymo spokesman.

“Lyft’s vi­sion and com­mit­ment to im­prov­ing the way cities move will help Waymo’s self-driv­ing tech­nol­ogy reach more peo­ple, in more places.”

A Lyft spokesman con­firmed the part­ner­ship to The New York Times, which broke the story.

“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,” the Lyft state­ment read.

Waymo and Uber are cur­rently en­gaged in a bit­ter le­gal dis­pute.

In Fe­bru­ary, Waymo filed a suit claim­ing that a former man­ager took data when he left to launch a com­pet­ing ven­ture that was later ac­quired by Uber.

Most car­mak­ers and other tech­nol­ogy firms have been step­ping up ef­forts on au­ton­o­mous driv­ing in re­cent years, con­tend­ing these sys­tems will elim­i­nate the vast ma­jor­ity of road ac­ci­dents. Ap­ple is the lat­est to have ob­tained a test­ing per­mit in Cal­i­for­nia. AFP

BLOOMBERG PIC

Lyft co-founder and pres­i­dent John Zim­mer at a tech­nol­ogy con­fer­ence in Cal­i­for­nia. The com­pany and its bit­ter ri­val, Uber, are locked in a bat­tle over self-driv­ing tech­nol­ogy.

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