Through a partnership with Alphabet Inc’s Waymo, Uber Technologies Inc will offer driverless cars on its ride-hailing and food delivery app by the end of this year.
They said in a blog post on Tuesday that Uber customers will be able to use a certain number of Waymo’s driverless cars for rides and deliveries within a 180-square-mile area in Phoenix, Arizona.
The commercialization of fully autonomous vehicles, especially robotaxis, has been harder than imagined because of strict rules, complicated technology, and big investments that have caused some businesses to lay off workers or even close down.
The tweet below verifies the news:
Waymo also works in San Francisco and wants to spread to Los Angeles. Its co-CEO, Tekedra Mawakana, said that Uber’s large network will help Waymo “reach even more people.”
This gives Uber a boost to its long-term plans for self-driving cars at the same time that its ride-hailing service is reaching pre-pandemic levels. “Fully autonomous driving is quickly becoming a part of everyday life,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said. “We’re excited to bring Waymo’s amazing technology to the Uber platform.”
The deal also brings together two people who hate each other. In 2017, Uber and Waymo got into a public fight over trade secrets. Waymo filed a lawsuit saying that one of its former engineers, who was now in charge of Uber’s self-driving car project, had taken thousands of secret papers with him when he left.
The case was settled when Uber agreed to give Waymo $245 million in stock.
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Waymo and Uber’s freight unit worked together last year to help customers use self-driving trucks more smoothly.
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