document.write(''); Uber and Waymo are partnering to improve access to autonomous vehicles - Simo Baha

Uber and Waymo are partnering to improve access to autonomous vehicles

Uber Technologies Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo LLC today announced a new multi-year strategic partnership to improve access to autonomous vehicles.

Starting in Phoenix, Arizona, the partnership will see Waymo’s autonomous driving technology, known as Waymo Driver, integrated into the Uber platform. Phoenix is ​​one of two locations where Waymo is testing self-driving services, services in which self-driving cars can operate without a safety driver behind the wheel.

The partnership will give Uber users access to Waymo’s autonomous vehicles for rides and local deliveries through the Uber and Uber Eats apps. The ability for Uber users to access Waymo cars will be on top of the Waymo One app, which will remain an option for users who prefer to book directly.

The partnership is believed to combine the best of both companies – Waymo’s self-driving technology and Uber’s ride and delivery networks – to make autonomous, electric car travel widely available.

“Uber has long been a leader in human-driven ride-sharing, and pairing our cutting-edge technology and all-electric fleet with its customer network enables Waymo to reach even more people,” CEO Takedra Mawakana. Waymo said in a statement:

The new partnership is not the first between the two companies, as both previously announced a strategic alliance to bring autonomous freight solutions to market in June 2022. The deal brought Waymo Driver and Uber Freight together to enable Waymo Driver to be introduced on US roads. , with Waymo Via’s autonomous solution connected directly to the Uber Freight platform that shippers can access.

That the companies are playing nice with each other in 2022 and 2023 is in stark contrast to last year, when Waymo accused Uber of stealing its technology after it discovered that Uber’s self-driving car project was using is a highly specialized lidar technology identical to its technology. The technology came to Uber after it acquired self-driving truck startup Otto, founded by former Waymo engineer Anthony Levandowski, in 2016 for $680 million.

Uber settled a case with Waymo in 2018 for $245 million. Lewandowski was sentenced to 18 months in prison for stealing trade secrets in 2020 before being pardoned by outgoing President Donald Trump in January 2021.

Photo: Waymo

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