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Waymo and Uber sign multi-year partnership to provide driverless rides and deliveries

Rideshare juggernaut Uber has signed a multi-year strategic partnership with robotaxi developer Waymo, offering driverless rides and deliveries to customers across the former’s platform. The new partnership could bring massive scale to Waymo’s driverless tech, while offering an enormous pool of potential customers.

Both Waymo and Uber were founded in 2009 and have taken very different, but arguably impactful trajectories in the mobility space – each utilizing advanced technology to revolutionize how we get around in our daily lives.

Earlier this year, Waymo hit 1 million test drive miles as it looks to transition into an entirely electric fleet of robotaxis. Meanwhile, Uber has dabbled in a little bit of everything, whether it’s helping design a rideshare specific EV, deploy mini autonomous food delivery vehicles, or get electric freight trucks onto highways.

In California, Uber has been working with Waymo rival Motional, to deploy driverless deliveries for Uber Eats, which has expanded into a long-term partnership to offer robotaxi rides as well.

Today, Uber and Waymo announced they have signed on to a partnership of their own, widening the availability of autonomous mobility, beginning in Arizona.

Waymo electric
The Jaguar I-Pace EVs currently being deployed / Credit: Waymo

Waymo bringing driverless tech to Uber platform in Phoenix

Waymo shared details of its new strategic partnership with Uber in a press release this morning alongside a short video from the following Tweet. The initial driverless rollout will begin on the Uber platform in Phoenix, Arizona where the robotaxi company currently operates across 180 square miles – the largest fully autonomous service area in the world, according to Waymo. Per its co-CEO Tekedra Mawakana:

We’re excited to offer another way for people to experience the enjoyable and life-saving benefits of full autonomy. 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.

The robotaxi company states its driverless services will be available to Uber users later this year and will include the ability to schedule both ride-hailing trips and local deliveries (meals, groceries, etc). In addition to the Uber and Uber Eats apps, Phoenix riders will still be able to hail a robotaxi directly through the Waymo One app. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi also spoke:

Uber provides access to a global and reliable marketplace across mobility, delivery, and freight. Fully autonomous driving is quickly becoming part of everyday life, and we’re excited to bring Waymo’s incredible technology to the Uber platform.

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