Ride hailing company, Lyft has entered a deal with Waymo, Google ‘s self-driving car unit to develop driverless cars.
Lyft In A Deal With Google's Waymo for Self-Drive Car
Lyft is Uber’s biggest business rival in the US.
Many companies are in the race to develop self-driving vehicles with the hope of leveraging journey-booking systems and to become game-changers in the transport business.
The partnership between Waymo and Lyft will increase the already heated rivalry between Uber and Google’s Wymo, which have been fighting battles in court over driverless technology.
According to Waymo’s, a former employee stole technology and began a rival company with said technology. Uber later bought this company but it says it did not pilfer or use Waymo technology.
Google’s self-driving unit is among the top companies in the process of developing autonomous car technology and it has been looking for partners.
In a statement, Lyft said, “Waymo hold the best self-driving technology today and collaborating with them will accelerate our vision of improving lives with the world’s best transportation.”
Lyft is essentially a booking platform and is available in 300 cities in the US. The firms is already in a self-driving car deal with General Motors but has said this partnership will not be impacted by the recent deal with Waymo.
Tesla and Apple are some of the companies also working on driverless technology. Most carmakers in Europe, US and Asia are also in the race for self-driving technology. Chinese technology firms have not been left behind either.
Earlier this month, Daimler, owner of the Mercedes Benz and automotive parts maker Bosch said they would partner to develop fully driverless vehicles in the next few years.
Elsewhere, a San Francisco judge has asked Uber to return thousands of stolen files to Waymo.
On Monday, the court also banned a top engineer at Uber from engaging in certain work in Uber’s self-driving project.
While this ruling is certainly a blow to Uber, it did not halt the ride-hailing firm’s self-driving car unit.
In his ruling, District Judge William Alsup wrote that Waymo had “shown compelling evidence that Anthony Levandowski, its former star engineer pilfered thousands of documents from the company.
Alsup further wrote, “The evidence indicates that Uber hired Levandowski even though it knew or should have known that he possessed confidential files likely containing Waymo intellectual property.”
Uber is now required to return the files directly to Waymo or the court by end of the month.
Mr. Levandowski has been banned from working on anything around Lidar, a vital key sensor technology for autonomous vehicles that is at the center of the Uber-Waymo litigation battle.