Lyft to partner with Google's Waymo on self-driving cars

By Mike Bambach  |  May 14, 2017 at 11:01 PM
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May 14 (UPI) -- Lyft is joining forces with Google's automotive business to develop self-driving cars, company officials said.

Waymo, Google's self-driving car unit, has signed a deal with the No. 2 rideshare company in the United States behind Uber, The New York Times reported.

Waymo completed its first public trials with passengers this month in Phoenix. Uber, which plans to introduce a flying taxi service by 2020, is also testing autonomous cars there.

"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.

Waymo sued Uber, claiming it was using secrets stolen by a former engineer to develop its self-driving technology. On Monday, a San Francisco District Judge ordered Uber to return thousands of "pilfered" files to Waymo.

"Lyft's vision and commitment to improving the way cities move will help Waymo's self-driving technology reach more people, in more places," Waymo said in an emailed statement.

Lyft is also working on autonomous technology with General Motors, which plans to build a self-driving vehicle facility in San Francisco.

It's the latest initiative in autonomous automobiles.

In April, Telecom giant Verizon invested in Renovo Auto, an autonomous vehicle startup founded in 2010 and best known for converting a vintage DeLorean into a self-driving car.

Also last month, South Korea's government announced plans to open K-City -- the world's largest test site for self-driving cars in October.

The 88-acre test bed will be dwarfed by the new American Center for Mobility in Ypsilanti, Mich. The U.S. Department of Transportation broke ground on the 335-acre Willow Run site last year.

Topics: Google
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