Uber, Waymo in talks about self-driving partnership: Uber CEO
RANCHO PALOS VERDES, Calif. (Reuters) – Uber Applied sciences Inc [UBER.UL] is speaking with Alphabet Inc’s autonomous driving unit Waymo about utilizing its know-how on Uber’s ride-hailing app, Uber Chief Govt Dara Khosrowshahi stated on Wednesday, signaling a potential thaw in relations between the companies.
Khosrowshahi stated on stage on the Code Convention that Uber’s relationship with Waymo was “getting higher” since Uber in February agreed to pay Waymo $245 million in shares to settle a authorized dispute over commerce secrets and techniques.
“We’re having discussions with Waymo. If one thing occurs, nice. If not, we will dwell with that, too,” Khosrowshahi stated.
Waymo is an “unimaginable know-how supplier” and having it on Uber’s community could be a great factor, he added.
Waymo declined to remark. It has, although, proceeded with plans to function with out Uber’s assist, creating a fleet of vehicles that it stated has self-driven 6 million miles on public roads.
In a lawsuit filed final yr, Waymo stated that one in every of its former engineers who turned chief of Uber’s self-driving automotive challenge took with him hundreds of confidential paperwork. The lawsuit value Uber each money and time in its self-driving automotive growth.
Khosrowshahi stated he believes the know-how behind autonomous driving will likely be shared, and that any firm reminiscent of Waymo that wishes to guide the sector might want to accomplice with Uber due to Uber’s community of smartphone customers.
Waymo plans to roll out an app-based service this yr providing rides to passengers in a completely self-driving Waymo automotive with no driver. It additionally has a partnership with Lyft Inc, a rival of Uber.
Uber plans to restart its personal self-driving automotive operation within the coming months, Khosrowshahi stated. The corporate shut down testing in Arizona this month after a deadly crash involving one in every of its automobiles.
“We’ll get again on the street over the summer season,” he stated, including that the deadly episode finally “goes to make us a greater firm”.
Reporting by David IngramEditing by Christopher Cushing