Technology

Uber to offer autonomous ride-hailing and delivery using Waymo’s robotaxis

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Passengers ride in an electric Jaguar I-Pace car outfitted with Waymo full self-driving technology in Santa Monica Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023.
Allen J. Schaben | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images

Uber‘s ride-hailing and delivery services will soon be offered by Waymo’s autonomous vehicles — at least in the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area.

On Tuesday, Waymo, a division of Alphabet, announced a multiyear partnership with Uber, offering autonomous ride-hailing service and delivery via Uber Eats that will begin later this year in a 180-square-mile operating territory around Phoenix, which Waymo bills as “the largest fully autonomous service area in the world.”

The news comes nearly two months after Waymo announced it would make its Waymo One ride-hailing fleet fully electric, and expanded vehicle testing in Austin, Texas.

“Fully autonomous driving is quickly becoming part of everyday life, and we’re excited to bring Waymo’s incredible technology to the Uber platform,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a statement.

“Uber has long been a leader in human-operated ridesharing, and the pairing of our pioneering technology and all-electric fleet with their customer network provides Waymo with an opportunity to reach even more people,” Tekedra Mawakana, co-CEO of Waymo, said.

A representative for Waymo declined to comment on the terms of the financial partnership.

In the past, the two companies were rivals in the robotaxi space, settling a case over trade secrets in 2018 for $245 million after Waymo accused Uber of poaching one of its leading engineers. Uber also agreed not to use Waymo’s proprietary information in its operations. In 2020, Uber sold its autonomous car unit to Aurora for a reported $4 billion, in a bid to prioritize profitability and focus on surer bets amid the pandemic, such as ride-hailing and food delivery.

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