While Waymo and Uber are fighting things out in court over a former Waymo Google employee who reportedly stole self-driving information with him when he went to go work with Uber, Waymo has formed an alliance with Uber’s competitor, Lyft.
Reportedly, Waymo and Lyft have been in negotiations since last summer.
The main reason why ride-sharing companies went self-driving cars is because they want to cut out the drivers. The cost of paying the driver can mean a difference between little profits and high profits. Companies claim that self-driving cars will be more affordable to passengers.
Lyft passengers in Phoenix, Arizona may be the first to benefit from the Waymo partnership. Waymo is actively seeking families in Phoenix area to test ride in their autonomous Chrysler Pacfica minivans. The partnership between Lyft and Waymo is not non-exclusive each parties are free to work on their own
General Motors invested in Lyft in 2016 January after having meetings with lift at the connected car Expo in Los Angeles in 2015
General Motors in a statement issued on Monday confirmed that the company will continue to work with Lyft and the partnership will not affect their current plans.
While automakers and self-driving companies are lobbying for the least amount of rules for self-driving cars as possible, consumer groups note that they don’t want to be responsible for injuries or deaths or turn over their data.
One of the worst violators of current California self-driving laws is Lyft’s competitor Uber.
Meanwhile the court has ordered Aordered Uber to return the allegedly stolen materials to Waymo by May 31. And, by June 23, Uber must also provoide a log for Waymo documenting each instance that Levandowski mentioned LiDAR to Uber employees, suppliers, or consultants.
“The bottom line is the evidence indicates that Uber hired Levandowski even though it knew or should have known that he possessed over 14,000 confidential Waymo files likely containing Waymo’s intellectual property; that at least some information from those files, if not the files themselves, has seeped into Uber’s own LiDAR development efforts; and that at least some of said information likely qualifies for trade secret protection,” he wrote. “This is sufficient for Waymo to show serious questions going to the merits of its case.”