CAB FIRM Lyft has teamed with Waymo, the self-driving car unit of Google-owner Alphabet, to take on Uber in the self-driving car space.
Lyft said that the launch of self-driving pilot projects would accelerate its vision for transportation, while Waymo said the partnership would extend its reach to "more people, in more places".
Lyft said that deal was non-exclusive, meaning that it could continue its self-driving partnership with US car maker General Motors, a Lyft investor.
The deal would bring together Lyft, which offers car services in about 300 US cities, and Waymo, which has some of the most sophisticated self-driving vehicle technology around.
Waymo already began testing 100 of its vehicles on public roads in 2017, and last month it announced that it would be adding a further 500 vehicles to its fleet and that it would let members of the public to test them out.
Residents in the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area have been invited to take part in Waymo's ‘Early Rider Programme', enabling them to take up rides in Waymo's Lexus RX450h and Chrysler Pacifica mini-vans.
It's unknown exactly what the terms of the Lyft-Waymo deal are at this stage, but both companies have been in fierce competition with Uber. Uber is the number one US car service by volume, followed by Lyft, while both Waymo and Uber are developing their own self-driving technologies.
The rivalry between Uber and Waymo has already spilled out into court, with Alphabet suing Uber claiming that intellectual property belonging to Waymo was stolen by Uber when a former executive left Waymo for Uber.
According to the suit, made in February, Waymo's former boss Anthony Levandowski took trade secrets with him when he left to set up Otto. Otto was since acquired by Uber for $700m, and now the technology is instrumental to the workings of Otto and Uber's self-driving vehicles. µ
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