Uber and Lyft are about to extend their rivalry from one blossoming industry to another.
Lyft, the United States’ No. 2 ride-hailing service by ride volume, has launched a self-driving vehicle partnership with Alphabet-owned Waymo, Reuters reported Monday. The alliance positions both companies to compete with Uber, which has been testing autonomous cars in multiple U.S. cities and is the country’s largest ride service.
The partnership could be great for both sides. Waymo has among the most advanced autonomous vehicle technology, while Lyft has made no secret about wanting to ramp up its efforts in the industry.
“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,” Lyft wrote in an emailed statement, via Reuters.
Details of the agreement, which Waymo reportedly said will let its technology reach “more people, in more places,” are scarce. Lyft, though, said it’s a non-exclusive deal that will allow the company to continue its driverless vehicle partnership with General Motors.
News of the deal comes at an interesting time for both Uber and Waymo.
The companies currently are tangled in court over Waymo’s claims of intellectual property theft committed by Uber.
A federal judge in San Francisco on Monday chose not to issue a temporary injunction, which Waymo requested, against Uber’s autonomous vehicle program, The New York Times reports. However, the court mandated that Anthony Levandowski, who leads Uber’s project, is restricted from working on LiDar, a key component of self-driving technology, for the duration of the litigation.
Thumbnail photo via Lyft
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