U.S. ride services company Lyft and Alphabet's self-driving car unit Waymo have launched a self-driving vehicle partnership, bringing together two rivals to dominant ride-sharing service Uber Technologies.
Lyft, the No. 2 U.S. ride service by ride volume, in a statement said a deal to launch self-driving pilots would accelerate its vision for transportation and Waymo, which is beginning tests of a self-driving car service in Phoenix, said the partnership would let its technology reach "more people, in more places".
The auto industry and technology companies are racing to develop self-driving technology. Uber is the biggest U.S. ride service by volume and has been developing self-driving technology, which it sees as a key to its future.
Waymo has some of the most advanced self-driving vehicle technology and has been looking for partners, while Lyft offers ride services in about 300 U.S. cities.
Still, Lyft said the deal is non-exclusive and will allow it to continue a self-driving partnership with General Motors, which is a Lyft investor.
GM plans to deploy thousands of self-driving electric cars in test fleets partnering with Lyft beginning 2018.
Waymo has about 600 Chrysler Pacificas and has held talks with Honda Motor Co. to get its autonomous technology into the Japanese automaker's cars.
Waymo and Uber are fighting in court over self-driving technology that Waymo says was stolen by a former employee who founded another company that Uber later acquired. Uber says it did not steal or use Waymo secrets.