Lyft has signed an alliance with Waymo, which is fathered by Google’s Alphabet company. Both will pose a threat to Uber, which is one of the top contestants for leading the self-driving car industry.
The two companies will join to “bring autonomous vehicle technology into the mainstream through pilot projects and product development efforts,” according to leaks published in The New York Times.
Google seems to be out to get Uber after a recent lawsuit, where one of Google’s former employees provided confidential self-driving technology to Otto, one of Uber’s divisions. Uber denies the claim, assuring that there is no evidence to justify the lawsuit. Uber is also going through severe workplace issues.
The battle for the self-driving car industry
Lyft assures that Waymo possesses the “best self-driving technology,” while Waymo associates state that Lyft is committed to bringing urban transportation to a whole new level. Meanwhile, Uber is present in over 70 countries and continues to grow despite its turbulent work environment. The company is financed by Goldman Sachs, Saudi Arabia, and plenty other investors, but CEO Travis Kalanick has recognized that his company needs help with management.
One of the main characteristics of a successful venture is a healthy work environment. In any other case, the company is destined to fail sooner or later. Kalanick’s way of leadership has been criticized by many, as he’s seen as a brilliant man with a distaste for boundaries, even if they are sometimes seen as necessary.
Kalanick tricked iPhone users to keep track of their devices even after the Uber app had been uninstalled. He was confronted by Apple CEO Tim Cook, who threatened to erase the app from the App store if he did not cease to collect information.
Also, reports have surfaced of employees having to deal with a workplace where sexual, physical, and verbal assault are practically imminent. At some point, Kalanick called for help to reinstate managerial values.
While Uber struggles with internal troubles, Lyft has already sought ties with General Motors, now aiming to land a deal to use Chevrolet Bolt vehicles to offer a widespread transportation service. On the other hand, Waymo is in talks with Chrysler and Honda to launch fleets of minivans and install their software on retail vehicles.
Waymo was practically designed from scratch by Google. Now, the company has tested its vehicles and has achieved over three million miles in real roads and avenues. Partnering with Lyft will allow both companies to pose a threat to Uber, although they are a long way to go before matching Uber’s staggering value as a company.
Kalanick has recognized the competition aspect of the self-driving car industry as a vital component in Uber’s survivability, forcing the company to branch out into different areas, such as Otto, which is focused in self-driving cargo trucks. Uber also has its own research facilities, although one can only wonder what the future will prepare as these tech giants battle their way into the future of driving technology.
Source: The New York Times