Waymo has announced that its self-driving minivans will be available to Lyft users in the Phoenix area. The move comes after the two companies had announced that they would work together back in 2017. The company has mentioned that it will begin by providing just ten vehicles on the app in selected towns in Phoenix and the customers will be able to choose Waymo’s self-driving vehicle through the ride-hailing app. Like in Waymo One, Alphabet-owned commercial ride-hailing service, there will be safety drivers behind the wheel. It is a massive leap towards the commercialization of autonomous driving and is also a big move for the ride-hailing sector. The terms of the agreement between Lyft and Waymo remain undisclosed.
Currently, Lyft avails the services of self-driving cars manufactured by tech giant Aptiv in the region of Las Vegas. Waymo has been on the roads in Phoenix for more than two years now, and the Google spinoff has already garnered the reputation of owning one of the best technologies in the market. Waymo has been offering a limited number of rides in its self-driving minivans. Waymo One has recorded nearly 1,000 trips as part of its early rider program. The early rider program entailed the rider signing a non-disclosure agreement before being privy to some of the company’s latest technology. Waymo One will be available to former early riders although this time it will not require them to sign an NDA. This will be the first time that Waymo will allow customers other than those who participated in the early rider program to employ its services.
The recent announcement indicates Waymo’s commitment to offering its cars to a broader audience. The announcement comes along with Lyft’s first quarterly earnings report since it became a public company. The company has stated that it recorded a loss of nearly one billion dollars in the past quarter, which is dramatically higher than the $243 million loss that was observed over the same duration last year. The company also recorded a revenue of $776 million, almost twice the amount from 2018.