Waymo, the self-driving auto unit that operates under Google's parent company, has signed a deal with the ride-hailing start-up Lyft, the New York Times reported citing two people familiar with the agreement.
Waymo's new collaboration with Lyft, the second largest U.S. ride-hailing firm, does carry competitive implications for rival firm Uber in the fierce race to develop self-driving technology. The deal calls for the companies to work together to bring autonomous vehicle technology into the mainstream through pilot projects and product development efforts.
"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. The judge in the case recently recommended to federal prosecutors the allegations be investigated as a criminal matter and denied Uber's request it be settled in arbitration.
Things are also icy between Waymo and Uber.
Waymo is suing Uber, alleging the ride-hailing giant is using trade secrets stolen by a former engineer to develop self-driving technology.
Lyft, for its part, praised Waymo's technology.
2 USA ride service by ride volume, in a statement said a deal to launch self-driving pilots would accelerate its vision for transportation and Waymo, which is beginning tests of a self-driving vehicle service in Phoenix, said the partnership would let its technology reach "more people, in more places". The confirmation of their deal comes a few days after court proceedings between Waymo and Uber started to heat up.