Waymo and Lyft are partnering up to offer more Phoenix passengers a self-driving ride.
Waymo, an autonomous vehicle company from Google parent company Alphabet, launched its self-driving taxi service in the Phoenix area late last year. On Tuesday, Waymo’s CEO John Krafcik announced that 1,000 riders currently have access to the car service, called Waymo One. But now, through a partnership with Lyft, more riders can experience self-driving.
Over the next few months, 10 Waymo vehicles — the company modifies Chrysler Pacifica minivans with self-driving equipment like cameras and LiDAR sensors — will be available on the Lyft ride-hailing app in the Phoenix area where Waymo’s been operating. Once all the vehicles are available, Lyft will add an option to select a Waymo vehicle from the Lyft ride-hailing app.
These Waymo cars will pick up riders just like they’ve been doing for the past six months through the Waymo app. A safety operator is still in the car.
Lyft isn’t entirely new to self-driving. Its Level 5 autonomous driving group in Palo Alto has teamed up with various companies to make a self-driving system. Autonomous Lyfts are available in Las Vegas through a partnership with Aptiv.
During Lyft’s first ever earnings call on Tuesday, Lyft co-founder John Zimmer called the Waymo partnership “an important step” in expanding access to autonomous vehicles. He said the 10 self-driving cars would be available to request on Lyft starting in about three months.