Waymo has been telegraphing over the past few months that its autonomous technology is ready for wider use. Now, the Alphabet division has signed a deal with Lyft to boost its effort and bring self-driving cars into the mainstream.
The deal was first reported by the New York Times, with Waymo and the ride-sharing service confirming the news. Discussions for this partnership began last summer, with the heads of both companies involved in the negotiations.
This collaboration will likely involve pilot projects and other product development efforts, though exact details of the partnership have yet to be announced.
In recent months, Waymo began communicating that its self-driving technology is ready for wider usage and that it’s exploring more partnerships.
While Waymo gets access to a wider user base, Lyft mostly benefits from the self-driving technology. Lyft already has a partnership with General Motors to test autonomous vehicles, but it previously stated that it has no plans to develop its own technology.
The partnership, of course, comes as Uber is waylaid in legal troubles, with its self-driving program facing a possible injunction due to a lawsuit by Waymo over the theft of autonomous technology. Meanwhile, Alphabet’s venture capital arm GV continues to be an investor in Uber, further complicating the relationship.