Lyft, Waymo Team Up On Self-Driving Car Tech Against Uber

May 16, 2017 01:00 AM EDT | Rebecca Pearson

Lyft and Waymo announced it will be teaming up in developing a self-driving car technology to compete with Uber. The companies confirmed the partnership Sunday in its intention to bring self-driving cars into the mainstream.

Details, however, remain scarce about this partnership. A spokesperson for Lyft said it's partnering with Waymo because the company "holds today's best self-driving technology," as per New York Times. A spokesperson for Waymo, on the other hand, said both companies have a shared vision of making self-driving cars more accessible to the public.

Lyft, the second most popular ride-hailing service in the U.S. next to Uber, confirmed that the deal with Waymo is a non-exclusive partnership, according to New York Post. In February, the company also announced it will utilize self-driving cars with General Motors, a major investor. If plans go well, Lyft customers in Phoenix will be the first to try the self-driving cars by 2018.

Waymo, which operates under Google's parent company, Alphabet, also has a tie-up deal with Chrysler. The company intends on becoming the premiere provider of self-driving technology. Meanwhile, ride-hailing leader Uber has similar a partnership in making self-driving cars with Daimer, Mercedes-Benz' parent company.

The news comes as a Cornell University study revealed U.S. households are willing to spend a maximum of $5,000 on self-driving cars, Fortune noted. "Automation of personal transportation is becoming a reality at a faster pace than anticipated," Dr. Ricardo Daziano of Cornell University said. "To plan for and analyze the large impacts of automation, policymakers and car manufacturers need to understand the market."

Meanwhile, Waymo is in the middle of a legal battle with Uber over the development of self-driving technology. Allegedly, a former employee stole the company's trade secrets that Uber later obtained. Uber defended it was not guilty of any wrongdoing and made clear its intention to fight the case, hence the ongoing court battle.

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