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 Government Dara Khosrowshahi mentioned on Wednesday, signaling a attainable thaw in relations between the companies.
Khosrowshahi mentioned 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 are able to dwell with that, too,” Khosrowshahi mentioned.
Waymo is an “unimaginable know-how supplier” and having it on Uber’s community can be a superb 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 mentioned has self-driven 6 million miles on public roads.
In a lawsuit filed final 12 months, Waymo mentioned that one in every of its former engineers who grew to become chief of Uber’s self-driving automobile mission took with him 1000’s of confidential paperwork. The lawsuit price Uber each money and time in its self-driving automobile growth.
Khosrowshahi mentioned he believes the know-how behind autonomous driving will probably 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 12 months providing rides to passengers in a completely self-driving Waymo automobile with no driver. It additionally has a partnership with Lyft Inc, a rival of Uber.
Uber plans to restart its personal self-driving automobile operation within the coming months, Khosrowshahi mentioned. The corporate shut down testing in Arizona this month after a deadly crash involving one in every of its autos.
“We’ll get again on the street over the summer season,” he mentioned, including that the deadly episode finally “goes to make us a greater firm”.
Reporting by David IngramEditing by Christopher Cushing