Google has inched a step closer to making its self-driving cars available to the market, having teamed up with ride-sharing service Lyft. According to reports, the two companies will work together on a number of pilot projects all of which will seek to accelerate the bringing to market of autonomous cars.
Discussion between Alphabet and Lyft reportedly began last summer on the tech giant finding itself at crossroads with Uber. The deal is non-exclusive meaning that both companies can continue with their previous initiatives as well as seek others. Waymo which is Google’s self-driving unit is currently carrying out tests of its technology having already clocked thousands of miles on the roads.
“We’re looking forward to working with Lyft to explore new self-driving products that will make our roads safer and transportation more accessible. Lyft’s vision and commitment to improving the way cities move will help Waymo’s self-driving technology reach more people, in more places, “said Waymo in a press release.
A deal with the search giant is not the first for Lyft which is also looking for ways to immerse itself deeper into the self-driving cars spectacle. The ride-sharing service already has a partnership in place with General Motors. It now awaits to be seen if Alphabet will partner the giant car maker which is also working on its own autonomous cars.
Waymo needs to secure more cars as it continues to polish its self-driving technology. The company has reportedly held talks with Honda Motor Co as it looks to get the technology into more cars in addition to the 600 Chrysler Pacifica’s. It will be interesting to see if Alphabet’s autonomous technology will get its way into GM’s cars, given that they are close now, more than ever, with the Lyft deal.
A deal with Lyft, on the other hand, comes as a warning shot to Uber which is accused by Waymo for stealing some of its self-driving technology. Complicating the standoff even further is the fact that Alphabet venture arm is one of the biggest investors in Uber.
The fact that Alphabet has already started working on its ride-hailing app in Arizona all but raises concerns about its relationship with Uber which has big interests in the space. The relationship between the two companies has hit rock bottom in the recent past especially on Uber deciding to go all the way alone in the development of self-driving cars.