Google's parent company Alphabet's concern, Waymo and Lyft teamed up to work more intensively on the self-driving vehicle project.
The company that began as Google's driverless auto project has reached a deal to collaborate with ride-hailing app Lyft on tests of self-driving vehicles. "Lyft's vision and commitment to improving the way cities move will help Waymo's self-driving technology reach more people, in more places".
The San Francisco judge also banned a top Uber engineer from involvement in certain work for the ride-hailing firm's autonomous driving project.
After all, the deal seems more effective as Lyft has no plan to work on self-driving cars.
Uber's self-driving program got off the ground in February 2015, after the company poached dozens of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University's robotics unit.
Still, Lyft said the deal is non-exclusive and will allow it to continue a self-driving partnership with US automaker General Motors Co (GM.N), which is a Lyft investor. But Alsup's 26-page order only mandates that Uber turn over 14,000 autonomous tech files that were allegedly stolen by Anthony Levandowski, the former Google engineer who later left the company to join Uber.
Both companies have chose to hold off on announcing more details about their collaboration, for now. Uber denies the claims. This week a district judge referred the case to federal criminal prosecutors for investigation.
The partnership will basically involve sharing trade secrets in order to incorporate Waymo's first-rate self-driving technology into Lyft's own cab-hailing system. That company was later bought by Uber, which says it did not steal or use Waymo secrets.
John Krafcik, CEO of Waymo, debuts a customized Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid that will be used for Google's autonomous vehicle program at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, Jan. 8, 2017.
The implications of Waymo and Lyft working together are huge.
Waymo's autonomous driving technology leaves all seats free for passengers, while Lyft drivers in semi-autonomous vehicles like those of GM might find a new role as greeters, or for helping passengers with luggage.
As the race to build the first commercially viable self-driving vehicle hots up, a number of major players in the technology and automotive industries continue to position themselves, hoping to grab a slice of the potentially lucrative pie.