15 May 2017 - 9:28
Lyft, Waymo to cooperate on self-driving cars
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, the companies said late 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," a Waymo spokesman told AFP.
"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 spokeswoman 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 lawsuit claiming that a former manager took technical data when he left to launch a competing venture that was later acquired by Uber.
Most major automakers and several 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.
German luxury carmaker Daimler and auto parts supplier Bosch announced plans this month to work together to create completely driverless cars in the next few years.
US-based Tesla is also stepping up efforts, as are several Chinese technology firms and the major US, Asian and European manufacturers.