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Waymo And Lyft Form Self-Driving Partnership To Take On Uber

Sam Pudwell joined Silicon UK as a reporter in December 2016. As well as being the resident Cloud aficionado, he covers areas such as cyber security, government IT and sports technology, with the aim of going to as many events as possible.

The race to lead the way in autonomous vehicles is showing no signs of slowing

Waymo and Lyft, two of Silicon Valley’s biggest transportation businesses, are teaming up to accelerate the development of self-driving cars.

According to the New York Times, inside sources revealed that the two companies will work together on pilot projects and product development in an attempt to bring autonomous vehicles into the mainstream. 

Both companies have since confirmed the non-exclusive partnership, which was formalised following discussions between Waymo’s CEO John Krafcik and Lyft’s founders Logan Green and John Zimmer, highlighting how the race to lead the way in self-driving technology is continuing to heat up.

self-driving car

Autonomous driving

“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 a Waymo spokesman.

A Lyft spokeswoman added that: “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.”

Waymo is well known for being the self-driving subsidiary of Google parent company Alphabet, whereas Lyft is America’s second biggest ride-hailing app behind global leader and fierce competitor Uber.

And the partnership could have significant implications for Uber, which has upped its self-driving efforts in recent times through various initiatives and amidst multi-million dollar partnerships with the likes of Volvo.

There have, as you would expect, been some regulatory bumps along the way, but the developing nature of the self-driving car sector tells you that it is only a matter of time before the technology becomes a permanent and prominent fixture on our roads.

Indeed, it is widely believed that the industry will ultimately become an extremely lucrative one for whichever firms manage to become the dominant players, which is why all manner of firms – from technology companies such like Intel to traditional automotive manufacturers such as Ford – are angling for a slice of the pie.

Various governments have also spotted the potential. The US government has pledged £2.8 billion for the development of autonomous cars, while the UK’s Department for Transport recently released a report highlighting the benefits of the technology.

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