Uber’s CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi was speaking at Recode’s Code Conference this week, and talked a bit about its relationship with Waymo. After Waymo sued Uber last year, over intellectual property, Uber is hoping that its rival can now become its partner. Khosrowshahi stated in an interview at Code Conference this week that the company is having conversations with Waymo “about putting its cars on our network.” Khosrowshahi continued to say that if nothing happens with Waymo, then it’s not the end of the world for Uber. He also called Waymo an incredible technology partner, during the interview. Essentially looking to bury the hatchet between the two companies.
Uber had to shelve its autonomous vehicle program this year, after a fatal crash involving one of its vehicles occurred in Arizona. Khosrowshahi said that Uber will not be bringing its autonomous vehicle program back online until the company is satisfied with it. As the whole purpose of using autonomous vehicles is to make the roads safer, and an Uber self-driving vehicle hit and killed a pedestrian, it’s clear that its program is not ready for public roads. But if Uber could work with Waymo on its self-driving car program, that would be a big deal for both companies. Uber, as it would have vehicles that have had far more testing than anything out there, and for Waymo, a way to get its software into more vehicles and out onto the roads sooner. That’s something that Waymo has been looking at doing in recent months, as a way to generate some revenue, anyways.
It wasn’t long ago that Uber and Waymo were at each other’s throat over a former Waymo employee, Anthony Levandowski who reportedly took some of Waymo’s LiDAR designs over to Otto which he co-founded, then was bought by Uber. The court case lasted quite a while and ended with Waymo getting a stake in Uber. Where Uber is still a private company – and is planning to go public next year – that’s a pretty good move for Waymo.