SAN FRANCISCO – Waymo, owned by Google, announced Tuesday that it will use its self-driving car technology for Uber in a partnership with former rivals.
The partnership, which will begin in Phoenix, U.S., later this year, will integrate self-driving and delivery using Waymo vehicles into the Uber platform, the companies said in a joint release.
“Fully self-driving cars are rapidly becoming a part of everyday life and we are excited to bring Waymo’s incredible technology to the Uber platform,” said Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.
The company says Waymo’s autonomous vehicle network in the Phoenix area covers more than 180 square miles (466 square kilometers).
“The combination of our pioneering technology with all-electric vehicles and[Uber’s]customer network gives Waymo the opportunity to reach even more people,” said Waymo Co-CEO Tekedra Mawakana. said.
Waymo’s ride-hailing program has been operating out of Phoenix since 2017.
Waymo and Uber announced in early 2018 that they had reached an agreement in a large federal lawsuit alleging trade secrets were stolen from Google’s self-driving car project.
The surprise agreement ended the lawsuit between two Silicon Valley rivals competing in the race to develop self-driving cars.
Uber has agreed to a financial settlement that will give Alphabet’s Google a small stake in Uber, according to people familiar with the deal.
As part of the settlement, Uber also agreed not to use any of Waymo’s self-driving technology.
Waymo alleges that Uber colluded with a former Google engineer who was accused of downloading thousands of proprietary documents before leaving the company to join Uber.
A U.S. investigation into the death of a pedestrian who was hit by an Uber self-driving car in 2018 blamed driver carelessness and the company’s “inadequate” safety measures. Uber’s self-driving car ambitions took a hit.
Uber will sell its self-driving car unit to Aurora in 2020, with the ride-hailing giant acquiring a stake in a startup developing self-driving technology, the companies said at the time.
The driverless Uber, which began operating on the road late last year in a joint venture with Motional, has always been ready for humans to take over control. AFP
https://www.straitstimes.com/world/united-states/uber-taps-into-self-driving-tech-of-former-rival-waymo Uber taps former rival Waymo’s self-driving technology