Waymo brings its self-driving taxis to Lyft riders in Phoenix


Waymo has joined forces with Lyft to scale the self-driving ride-hailing service it introduced at the backend of 2018.

To begin with, Google parent company Alphabet’s Waymo will deploy 10 of its vehicles on Lyft in the Metro Phoenix area over the next few months. Once these vehicles arrive on the platform, Lyft users in the area will be able to select a Waymo vehicle for eligible rides within the Lyft app.

According to Waymo, its Waymo One service has grown to serve more than 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”.

Lyft and Waymo first agreed to collaborate on autonomous vehicles back in 2017, with the aim of working together to bring self-driving into the mainstream.

News of the partnership comes as Lyft reported the first of its financial results since going public in March. The company recorded a loss of $1.14bn for the first quarter of 2019. However, it attributed $894m of its net loss to stock-based compensation and related payroll tax expenses.

Despite the huge losses, Lyft almost doubled its revenue compared to Q1 2018. The ride-hailing firm reported revenue of $776m, which is a 95 per cent increase on the $397.2m from the year prior.

Lyft’s chief financial officer, Brian Roberts, said that 2019 will be the company’s “peak loss year” as it begins to “move steadily towards profitability on a consolidated basis”.