Uber is in talks with Alphabet’s driving unit Waymo for using its technology in the former’s ride-hailing app. This was disclosed by Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi at the Code Conference, who hinted about a possible partnership on autonomous driving.
Khosrowshahi said that the relationship between his company and Waymo is getting better since last February when Uber agreed to pay $245 million in shares to Waymo for settling ‘a legal dispute over trade secrets.’
We’re having discussions with Waymo. If something happens, great. If not, we can live with that, too. Waymo is an ‘incredible technology provider’ and combining it with Uber’s network of smartphone users will be productive, he added. – Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO Uber
Waymo filed a lawsuit last year saying that one of its former engineers took thousands of confidential documents with him when he became the chief of the autonomous car project of Uber. This lawsuit was expensive for Uber in terms of money and time over its autonomous developments.
Khosrowshahi expressed his belief that technologies behind self-driving should be shared. He mentioned that any tech player like Waymo wanting to lead the market will need the help of Uber’s network.
Now, Waymo is partners with Lyft who is a rival to Uber. Also, Waymo plans to bring an app-based service within 2018 offering rides in a fully autonomous driving Waymo car, without any driver.
On the other hand, Khosrowshahi said that Uber will resume its self-driving operation in the coming months, after shutting down temporarily regarding the Arizona incident. Khosrowshahi added that the unfortunate incident eventually “is going to make us a better company.”