Waymo and Lyft are forging a new partnership to work on self-driving cars, spokespeople for both companies confirmed Sunday night.
The New York Times was the first to report the news.
The companies declined to describe the nature of the partnership. But Waymo, which spun out of Google’s self-driving car division, has nearly a decade of experience of working in the space.
The collaboration is also a shot at Uber, which is working on its own self-driving car technology and is already Lyft’s key rival in the ride-hailing space.
Things are also icy between Waymo and Uber. Waymo is suing Uber, claiming the executive who used to be in charge of Uber’s autonomous car program stole proprietary self-driving technology from Waymo and used it to develop parts of Uber’s self-driving systems. Uber has denied those accusations. The Waymo and Lyft partnership is a signal that the two companies are willing to team up to take on a mutual rival.
Lyft isn’t working on its own proprietary self-driving cars, but it has said in the past that it was willing to partner with companies that are. In theory, Lyft could help Waymo connect to a large user base of customers already using the ride-hailing service so Waymo doesn’t have to build its own network from scratch.
“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 spokesperson told Business Insider in an email statement. “Lyft’s vision and commitment to improving the way cities move will help Waymo’s self-driving technology reach more people, in more places.”
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