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The big picture: The latest collaboration between Lyft and Waymo is advancing the causes of ride-hailing and autonomous vehicles. It comes at a critical time - just after Lyft went public and not too longer after Uber experienced a fatal accident involving one of its self-driving vehicles.
Waymo in the coming months will deploy 10 self-driving vehicles in the Metro Phoenix area via Lyft's ride-hailing platform, expanding on a partnership that was first announced in mid-2017.
Once the vehicles are in place, users in the area will have the option to select a Waymo directly from the Lyft app. Waymo CEO John Krafcik said that for many, it'll be their first ride in a self-driving vehicle. A safety driver will be behind the wheel to take over in case of any hiccups and to answer rider inquiries.
Waymo launched its own commercial self-driving ride-hailing service, Waymo One, in the same area a little over six months ago. "Over that time we've grown to serve over 1,000 riders who hail Waymo cars each day to commute to and from work, bring their kids to school, get to the grocery store, and even to avoid parking at trailheads before a big run," Krafcik said.
The next step in the partnership between Lyft and Waymo comes on the heels of Lyft's first quarterly report since going public. In it, Lyft reported a net quarterly loss of $1.1 billion although much of that was related to stock-based compensation in connection with the IPO. The company's adjusted net loss was $211.5 million.
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