Alphabet's self-driving subsidiary Waymo revealed more about its ongoing partnership with Lyft, announcing plans to launch 10 of its driverless vehicles on Lyft’s ride-hailing platform in the Metro Phoenix area.
"Today, we’re pleased to share some details of our partnership with Lyft, which will help us welcome even more riders in Metro Phoenix to experience self-driving technology," wrote John Krafcik, CEO of Waymo, in a blog post. "As a first step, we’ll deploy 10 Waymo vehicles on Lyft over the next few months. Once Waymo vehicles are on the platform, Lyft users in the area will have the option to select a Waymo directly from the Lyft app for eligible rides. This first step in our partnership will allow us to introduce the Waymo Driver to Lyft users, enabling them to take what, for many, will be their first ride in a self-driving vehicle. We’re committed to continuously improving our customer experience, and our partnership with Lyft will also give our teams the opportunity to collect valuable feedback."
Waymo launched Waymo One, its self-driving service, in December 2018.
“Self-driving technology is new to many, so we’re proceeding carefully, with the comfort and convenience of our riders in mind. At first, Waymo-trained drivers will supervise our Waymo One vehicles,” Krafcik said at the time. “We’re never done learning, and our early rider program will continue as a way for a select group to give us ongoing insights. They’ll help test early features before those new capabilities graduate to Waymo One.”
Krafcik noted that Waymo had already offered fully driverless rides to some of its early riders.
In late October 2018, Waymo announced that it was awarded the first permit in California to begin driverless testing on public roads in parts of Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Palo Alto.