Lyft, Waymo ink self-driving car deal - NY Times

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Waymo, the self-driving vehicle unit that operates under Google's parent company, has signed a deal with the ride-hailing start-up Lyft, the New York Times reported citing two people familiar with the agreement.

The alliance between the two show that many companies are trying to acquire a piece of the market for self-driving vehicles, which many believe will ultimately be a multi billion-dollar industry.

Discussions that led to the new partnership reportedly began last summer, according to the Times.

Details on what this partnership entails remain a little fuzzy, but sources told Times reporter Mike Isaac the two companies would be working together on pilot projects and product development efforts.

The announcement comes as Waymo has accused Lyft's biggest competitor, Uber, of stealing trade secrets from the company to advance its own self-driving operation.

The collaboration is also a shot at Uber, which is working on its own self-driving auto technology and is already Lyft's key rival in the ride-hailing space.

This partnership, the publication reports, has been in the works for quite a long time and come to fruition after regular visits to each others' facilities by the respective chief executives.

Waymo is widely seen as the global leader in the software needed to power a self-driving vehicle. Waymo has said the vehicles have logged more than 3 million miles of real-world testing. In a ealed opinion, Alsup also granted a partial injunction against Uber. The partnership is the latest indicator that fully autonomous vehicles will soon be common on some USA streets. Uber denies the allegations.

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