The New York Times first reported the partnership on Sunday (14 May) in which the two companies will work together on autonomous vehicle "pilot projects and product development efforts".
Ride-hailing startup Lyft Inc. and Waymo LLC, the driverless auto division of Google parent Alphabet Inc., said they would work together to develop autonomous vehicle technology, dealing another potential blow to rival Uber Technologies Inc.'s ambitions. While details about their agreement remain relatively bleak, their alliance is further indication that building partnerships is the best way to combat and edge out their common foe: Uber. 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.
After Levandowski left Google previous year, Uber soon acquired his self-driving truck start-up, Otto - which, Waymo alleged in court proceedings, was a ruse to help Uber get its hands on Google's self-driving secrets.
But with the added heft of Google-owned Waymo (and, presumably, the global mapping information, consumer data, and massive cash war chest of its parent company), Lyft's chances versus Uber in the coming autonomous vehicle wars just got a lot better. Uber was denied their attempt to move the case to private arbitration.
Meanwhile, Waymo released a statement indicating that their technology coupled with Lyft will help expand their reach.
Waymo and Uber are fighting in court over self-driving technology that Waymo says was stolen by a former employee who founded another company that Uber later acquired.