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Lyft and Waymo Reach Deal to Collaborate on Self-Driving Cars

Discussion in 'News' started by Jo3030, May 14, 2017.

  1. Jo3030

    Jo3030 Moderator Moderator

    Location:
    Washington DC
    Driving:
    UberX
    Lyft and Waymo Reach Deal to Collaborate on Self-Driving Cars

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/14/technology/lyft-waymo-self-driving-cars.html

    SAN FRANCISCO — As the race to bring self-driving vehicles to the public intensifies, two of Silicon Valley’s most prominent players are teaming up.

    Waymo, the self-driving car unit that operates under Google’s parent company, has signed a deal with the ride-hailing start-up Lyft, according to two people familiar with the agreement who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. The deal calls for the companies to work together to bring autonomous vehicle technology into the mainstream through pilot projects and product development efforts, these people said.

    The deal was confirmed by Lyft and Waymo.

    “Waymo holds today’s best self-driving technology, and collaborating with them will accelerate our shared vision of improving lives with the world’s best transportation,” a Lyft spokeswoman said in a statement.

    A Waymo spokesman said, “Lyft’s vision and commitment to improving the way cities move will help Waymo’s self-driving technology reach more people, in more places.”

    The partnership highlights the fluid nature of relationships in the self-driving-car sector. From technology companies to automakers to firms that manufacture components, dozens of players are angling for a slice of an autonomous vehicle market that many believe will ultimately be a multibillion-dollar industry. To gain an edge and outmuscle rivals, many of these players are forming alliances — and sometimes shifting them.

    The deal between Waymo and Lyft has competitive implications for Uber, the world’s biggest ride-hailing company, which has recently had to confront a spate of workplace and legal problems.

    Lyft is a distant No. 2 to Uber among ride-hailing services in the United States, and the two companies are bitter rivals. Waymo is also competing fiercely with Uber in the creation of technology for autonomous cars and is embroiled in a lawsuit over what it says is Uber’s use of stolen Waymo trade secrets to develop such technology.

    Details about the deal between Waymo and Lyft were scant. The companies declined to comment on what types of products would be brought to market as a result of it or when the public might see the fruits of the collaboration.

    The companies have left hints as to what the partnership could entail. Lyft, for instance, has long said it wants to match its network of passengers and drivers with partners in the transportation industry. Last year, it struck a deal with General Motors, a major Lyft investor, to help with that goal. Under that agreement, the companies plan to test autonomous Chevrolet Bolt vehicles using Lyft’s network with the general public in the next few years.

    Waymo has pursued its own partnerships. It is working with Fiat Chrysler on a fleet of minivans and is in talks with Honda about a possible deal that would put Waymo technology in Honda test vehicles. Waymo also recently introduced a pilot program in Phoenix in which consumers can apply to hail self-driving Chrysler minivans and Lexuses for free rides around the city. The company has said it hopes to find new ways through such partnerships to bring its self-driving technology to the general public after nearly a decade of development.

    The seeds of the partnership between Waymo and Lyft were planted in discussions last summer, the two people familiar with the deal said. The talks involved Logan Green and John Zimmer, the founders and leaders of Lyft, and John Krafcik, the chief executive of Waymo. The idea of a deal evolved as the executives visited each other’s campuses in the ensuing months.

    The partnership indicates that Waymo believes its self-driving-car technology has moved past the research stage and is ready to be applied commercially. Alphabet, Google’s parent company, spun Waymo out of Google’s X project lab in December after more than eight years of research. The vehicles have been tested on closed tracks and open roads in Arizona, California, Texas and Washington, where state law allows the testing of autonomous vehicles. Waymo has said the vehicles have logged more than three million miles of real-world testing.

    Photo
    [​IMG]
    Logan Green, left, and John Zimmer, the founders and leaders of Lyft, in 2016. CreditRamin Talaie for The New York Times
    For Lyft, which has said it has no plans to develop its own self-driving-car technology, the deal with Waymo offers another way into the market. While Lyft has said it will work with G.M. on testing autonomous vehicles, G.M. bought the self-driving-technology start-up Cruise Automation last year for more than $1 billion in cash and stock. Cruise has begun testing G.M. vehicles on the open road in California.

    In April, Lyft said it had raised $600 million in new venture capital, an investment round that valued the company at $6.9 billion.

    Uber did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    Travis Kalanick, Uber’s chief executive, has said he views the race to bring self-driving technology to market as “existential” to Uber’s future. The company has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into catching up with Google and others. Uber opened its Advanced Technologies Center in Pittsburgh — a hub for self-driving-car research — in 2015 and recently announced a similar initiative in Toronto. Last year, Uber acquired Otto, a self-driving trucking start-up, for more than $680 million.

    The Otto deal led Waymo to accuse Uber in a lawsuit of using Waymo’s intellectual property in its self-driving-vehicle designs. Waymo says Anthony Levandowski, who had been a key leader of Google’s self-driving car research and a founder of Otto, conspired with Uber to steal thousands of files related to autonomous-vehicle research before he left Google last year on his way to joining Uber.

    The case could affect the speed at which Uber’s self-driving efforts come to market. Waymo is seeking a preliminary injunction to block Uber from using its trade secrets. If granted, such an injunction could halt some of Uber’s research until a trial concludes.

     
  2. FL_Dex

    FL_Dex Well-Known Member

    Location:
    South Florida
    Driving:
    UberX
    So Lyft basically did what I was saying Uber should have done. Drop the autonomous car research and just lease it from whichever company comes out on top. Uber could have saved itself tens of millions of wasted effort and salaries, just like Lyft did. And they could have avoided the litigation which is likely going to see the program shut down anyway and maybe one of their top engineers, and biggest salaries, doing jail time for computer crimes.
     
  3. jonhjax

    jonhjax Active Member

    Location:
    32233
    Looks like lyft might become the dominant tnc when it comes to sdc s. They are backed by GM, who is also one of the top sdc companies. I wonder what uber's investors are thinking about this deal.
     
    ABC123DEF likes this.
  4. Brooklyn

    Brooklyn Well-Known Member

    Well then how would Uber be able to justify the valuation? I think the investors pushing all the money down Uber's throat forced their hand there.
    Eh.. that's if they stick around.. don't forget Lyft was trying to sell itself not too long ago.

    If Lyft does this.. what does Google plan on doing with their rideshare company they were testing? are they considering it a failure?
     
  5. Mr. G

    Mr. G Member

    Location:
    Bay Area
    Driving:
    UberX

  6. jonhjax

    jonhjax Active Member

    Location:
    32233
    My guess is waymo will license their technology. If waymo could combine their r&d with GM, this "coop" could become the dominant player in the sdc business. The royalties / licensing fees could be huge.
     
  7. Brooklyn

    Brooklyn Well-Known Member

    Makes sense

    Google creates the tech/GM makes the cars/Lyft leases the vehicles

    only problem I see is there seems to be a lot of hands in the cookie jar.
     
  8. TwoFiddyMile

    TwoFiddyMile Well-Known Member

    Location:
    charlotte
    Driving:
    Taxi
    This is just more Death To Uber.
    Good work.
     
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  9. TwoFiddyMile

    TwoFiddyMile Well-Known Member

    Location:
    charlotte
    Driving:
    Taxi
    Bye, Uber!
     
    ABC123DEF likes this.
  10. MrPincushion

    MrPincushion Active Member

    Location:
    Chicago
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH
     
    ABC123DEF and TwoFiddyMile like this.
  11. westsidebum

    westsidebum Well-Known Member

    Location:
    los angeles
    Waymo wants lyfts driver data. Even when lyft drivers have no riders they send valuable data back to lyft about demand, navigation, traffic etc.
     
  12. majxl

    majxl New Member

    Location:
    port washington ny
    All cars manufacturer all over the world are spending billions on driverless technology because it is for their survival and, also, revenues will be in the trillions! Taxis is the ideal industry for testing the technology and, just as challenging, to help get the public familiar with driverless car and try to overcome their apprehensions and fear of using those vehicles. Ford and all other famous maker are willing to invest enormous cash in company like taxi as long as those companies have excellent reputations who will enhance their image and confidence from the public.
     
  13. Shea F. Kenny

    Shea F. Kenny Active Member

    Location:
    Chicago
    Driving:
    UberX
    Won't work. Who's going to clean the interior? Sure, rider could complain and the previous rider would be blamed. But what if the previous rider simply didn't complain, and it was the previous rider? Neither of which, cleans the car before the next rider.
     
  14. Cableguynoe

    Cableguynoe Well-Known Member

    Location:
    California
    Driving:
    UberXL
    There will be cameras the can see every inch of the car.
    My guess is that pax will be very aware of extra fees for leaving mess behind. In the event of a mess, car will probably detect it and go offline and take itself to it's hub where it gets refueled/charged and employees are there 24/7 to clean her up.
     
    Xanvel likes this.
  15. Shea F. Kenny

    Shea F. Kenny Active Member

    Location:
    Chicago
    Driving:
    UberX
    It's hub? And how many of those are there? How far does the vehicle have to go? How many times a day? Particularly in fall and winter where you get a lot of leaves or salted snow, which stains the carpets and riders down rate for an unclean car. In snow, I wipe the floor mats every trip. There are over ten thousand drivers in Chicago. Imagine 10,000 robo cars. How long are the lines at the hubs? Uber would more likely contract with existing car washes. 10.00 minimum, no doubt. Unless vomit or other stains were involved. The vehicles will probably run 24/7. Or, more than three times what a human driver does. More frequent oil changes, tire rotation and replacement, wheel bearings and they'd be very lucky not to have to replace engine and ******. In two years, 300k miles, more than likely.
     
  16. Cableguynoe

    Cableguynoe Well-Known Member

    Location:
    California
    Driving:
    UberXL
    Here's the thing. All those questions you thought of, they're smart enough to have thought of them too. And still have gone ahead and poured million and millions into this. And between Travis and these investors, these are all people that get things done, right way or wrong way. They fight for what they want.
    It's going to happen.
    My guess is the bigger cities will have some kind of hub. All they need is a large property and a handful of employees for the cars that need attention. The ones that don't just roll in, refuel/recharge themselves, and hit the road again.
    And they wont need as many cars as they would have needed drivers. Pool will be a big thing. A HUGE thing. They'll probably raise the price on X so that more use pool, which works our better for them, especially with robo cars.
     
    Xanvel likes this.
  17. Xanvel

    Xanvel Active Member

    Location:
    Baton Rouge
    This is the wave of the far future. The following generations will gladly trade away the freedom of personal choice and responsibility for coddled convenience and to be tech savvy. Interesting times, indeed.
     
  18. RideshareSpectrum

    RideshareSpectrum Active Member

    Location:
    Bay Area
    Driving:
    UberX
    I posted a whitepaper I found on the subject called 'Rethinking Transportation 2020/2030' published by a Silicon Valley think tank called Rethink X....

    It's in the Autonimous forum here on UP and everyone should read it, because the folks who collaborated on it are the ones driving this thing.
    Have a plan is all I'm saying.
     
  19. TwoFiddyMile

    TwoFiddyMile Well-Known Member

    Location:
    charlotte
    Driving:
    Taxi
    Can you copy and paste it here? Easier than scrambling to find it thanks.
     
  20. RideshareSpectrum

    RideshareSpectrum Active Member

    Location:
    Bay Area
    Driving:
    UberX
    Nah. Only 3 clicks away. You can do it.
     

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