Uber and Waymo, historically fierce competitors, have set aside their differences and embarked on a new journey together, as revealed in their recent announcement.
In an official press release, Waymo unveiled its partnership with ride-sharing giant Uber, aimed at integrating their autonomous vehicles into the Uber app. This collaborative effort, described as a “multi-year partnership,” will kick off in Phoenix, Arizona.
The joint initiative will allow customers to access self-driving cars not only for ride-hailing purposes through Uber but also for delivery services via Uber Eats. Moreover, customers will still have the option to book rides using the Waymo One app.
Tekedra Mawakana, co-CEO of Waymo, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership’s potential to accelerate the development of fully autonomous driving by leveraging the technological strengths of both companies.
“We are thrilled to introduce yet another avenue for people to experience the remarkable and life-saving benefits of full autonomy. Uber has long been at the forefront of human-operated ridesharing, and by combining our groundbreaking technology and all-electric fleet with their extensive customer network, Waymo gains the opportunity to reach an even wider audience.”
Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber, expressed his enthusiasm about the integration of fully autonomous driving into the Uber platform.
“Uber offers a reliable and global marketplace for mobility, delivery, and freight. As fully autonomous driving becomes an integral part of our daily lives, we are thrilled to incorporate Waymo’s remarkable technology into the Uber platform.”
Uber and Waymo have announced that the integration with Uber and Uber Eats will be publicly launched “later this year.” This timing coincides well with Uber for Teens, a newly announced program that allows unaccompanied minors to use Uber.
This pilot program is intriguing, considering Uber currently relies on human drivers who sign up for the gig economy. The growth of autonomous vehicles could potentially have significant implications for these drivers. However, they could potentially transition to other delivery services like Lyft, Doordash, and others. Nevertheless, it seems inevitable that autonomous vehicles will impact all of these services over time.
Personally, I’m excited about the prospect of experiencing a ride in an autonomous taxi. I’ve already had a taste of it while riding in someone’s Tesla equipped with the FSD Beta, and it was an exhilarating experience. Perhaps I should plan a trip to Phoenix later this year to witness the progress firsthand.