Published: Tue, May 16, 2017
Markets | By Erika Turner

Waymo, Lyft to team up on self-driving vehicles

Waymo, Lyft to team up on self-driving vehicles

Uber is the biggest USA ride service by volume and has been developing self-driving technology, which it sees as a key to its future, as it expands its ride service with human drivers.

The Lyft spokeswoman said in the 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". Two months later, Waymo alleges he downloaded more than 14,000 proprietary files to his personal laptop.

Uber has had the idea of being the first company to launch a fleet of self-driving cabs in the country for some time now.

The case is Waymo LLC v. Uber Technologies Inc., 17-cv-00939, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

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As part of this partial injunction, Uber must account for any and all conversations - written or oral - that Levandowski had with any company employee discussing or related to the radar Alphabet claims he stole. Uber tried and failed to move the case to arbitration after Levandowski used the Fifth Amendment to refuse testimony. US District Judge William Alsup also barred a key engineer from working on a portion of Uber's self-driving vehicle program. Details of the Waymo-Lyft deal are scant at present, so it's unknown how it will affect the existing partnerships, but it's interesting that both companies are spreading themselves about as opposed to working exclusively. Unlike Uber, Lyft is reliant on its other partner, General Motors, for all of its self-driving technology. The two companies are offering rides to the public in their self-driving cars in Phoenix, allowing consumers to get acclimated with the technology.

In February 2017, Waymo filed the lawsuit against Uber accusing them of misappropriating trade secrets downloaded by Levandowski in relation to its driverless technology.

Waymo and Lyft announced Sunday that they're working together to launch self-driving vehicle pilots.

According to commentators, it is an interesting partnership as it is another piece of the puzzle in addition to Waymo's existing tie-ups with automakers, including Chrysler, and a pending agreement with Honda. David Drummond, Alphabet's chief legal officer, stepped down from Uber's board a year ago. In theory, Lyft could help Waymo connect to a large user base of customers already using the ride-hailing service so Waymo doesn't have to build its own network from scratch.

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