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Autonomous Vehicles

Published on May 17th, 2017 | by James Ayre


Waymo & Lyft Partnering On Self-Driving Vehicles

May 17th, 2017 by  

Waymo (Google) and the popular ride-hailing firm Lyft will be partnering on the promotion and rollout of self-driving vehicle technology, according to recent reports.

Neither of the companies have yet said all that much about the partnership, so it’s not completely clear what it will actually entail. Presumably, Waymo/Google will at some point be providing Lyft with self-driving tech (or vehicles), but who knows?

Something that’s interesting to note, though, is that Waymo/Google is currently pursuing legal action against Lyft’s rival Uber in relation to allegations of trade secret theft.

Motor Authority provides more: “Waymo is the self-driving car business of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, while Lyft is a ride-sharing firm that’s seen hefty investment from General Motors. The automaker poured $500 million into Lyft in 2016 in its quest to develop a self-driving taxi fleet.

“Specific details surrounding what both companies plan were not divulged in the announcement. Though, with Lyft’s developed structure of ride sharing, it’s not far-fetched to envision a fleet of Waymo self-driving taxis to be on call for Lyft customers in the future.”

What remains something of an unknown in this situation is the potential role of GM’s Cruise, which is currently developing self-driving vehicle tech that was presumed to eventually be used by Lyft. But I guess that maybe Lyft is simply hedging its bets — the company did decline an all-out acquisition offer by GM, perhaps specifically so that its options could remain open regarding self-driving tech (amongst other reasons, no doubt).

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About the Author

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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