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May 15, 2017updated 25 Jul 2022 3:32am

Lyft and Waymo sign deal to accelerate autonomous car testing

The fact that Waymo is working with a driving based service already has led to the belief that the company will be ready to debut its self driving cars much sooner than previously anticipated.

By Joe Clark

Waymo and Lyft have agreed a new deal regarding the further testing of autonomous car technologies.

Alphabet’s Waymo and ride hailing app Lyft are among some of the more prominent companies involved in the development of autonomous car technology and this deal will see them working more together.

The new deal was initially reported by the New York Times but has since been confirmed by both Waymo and Lyft.

autonomous car

A Lyft spokeswoman said in a statement: “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 Waymo spokesman said: “Lyft’s vision and commitment to improving the way cities move will help Waymo’s self-driving technology reach more people, in more places.”

The fact that Waymo is working with a driving based service already has led to the belief that the company will be ready to debut its self driving cars much sooner than previously anticipated.

The self driving car project began at Google in 2009 and last month the company announced that it was opening access to the public in Arizona. A recent survey also found that out of the leading self driving car developers, Waymo had accrued the most miles driven and the least disengagements of the self driving system.

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So far the companies have not announced any details of the deal but these sorts of alliances have become commonplace in the autonomous vehicle market. Recently Intel, BMW, and Mobileye announced that they would be working together to create 40 highly automated vehicles.

This partnership could also have competition implications for Uber, the world’s leading ridehailing service, who is also developing self driving cars. Currently Lyft is much smaller than it’s competitor Uber but working with an established Alphabet brand like Waymo could help change that.

Waymo is also currently embroiled in a battle with Uber, alleging that the ride hailing service stole self driving technology.

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