- Google’s self-driving car unit Waymo has inked a deal with Uber’s main US rival, Lyft. They will collaborate to bring self-driving cars into the mainstream. Waymo’s strength is in the technology, while Lyft will help it reach more people.
- This comes days after a US federal judge referred Waymo’s lawsuit against Uber to criminal prosecutors, ruling out arbitration. Investigators will look into allegations of trade secret theft. Google said a Waymo engineer downloaded thousands of files before quitting to launch a startup that got acquired by Uber.
Why it matters
- The teaming up of two big Silicon Valley players shifts the balance in a race to bring self-driving cars to the public. It has the potential to disrupt urban transportation.
- The alliance is a threat to Uber’s dominance in ride-sharing, especially in the context of the legal problems looming over Uber’s own self-driving technology. Autonomous cars are expected to transform the monetization and business model of ride-sharing.
Source: The New York Times
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