Uber's autonomous car program has faced significant challenges in recent times, but CEO Dara Khosrowshahi believes it'll be rival Waymo that helps get it back on track. Speaking at Recode's Code Conference in California on Wednesday, Khosrowshahi said that he'd "welcome Waymo to put cars in our network." The statement comes only a few months after the two companies were locked in a legal battle over self-driving technology. Waymo, owned by Google parent Alphabet, sought $1.8 billion from the ride-sharing startup, claiming Uber had stolen critical trade secrets. In the end, the two companies agreed a settlement which saw Waymo awarded 0.34 percent of Uber's equity -- around $245 million -- and given the guarantee that Uber would not use Waymo's confidential research in its self-driving cars.
Walmart's latest move into tech is a partnership with Waymo. In Phoenix later this week, the pair will begin a pilot program where customers can order groceries on the retailer's website, get a ride to and from the store in a Waymo car and then snag a discount on their groceries. More than that, Waymo is teaming up with Avis Budget Group to pick up and drop off customers when they need a rental car. There are a few other deals in place as well. Local chain AutoNation will begin offering Waymo vehicles for customer loaner cars, too.
We heard in January that Waymo was expanding its agreement with Chrylser for'thousands' of additional hybrid minivans, which would start being delivered in late 2018. Apparently, that was an understatement. Today, news emerged that the automaker will supply the autonomous car company with 62,000 its family vehicles. We knew Waymo's existing fleet of 600 Chrysler Pacific minivans it used for testing will be repurposed to launch its ride-hailing service in Phoenix later this year. The next city it will set up shop in is, unsurprisingly, the San Francisco Bay area.