NEW YORK -- U.S. ride services company Lyft and Waymo, an automotive business owned by Google parent Alphabet, have launched a self-driving vehicle partnership, bringing together two rivals to dominant ride-sharing service Uber Technologies.
Waymo is holding public trials using Chrysler minivans equipped with its technology in Phoenix. Uber is also testing autonomous cars there and in other U.S. cities.
Lyft, the No. 2 U.S. ride service by ride volume, said a deal to launch self-driving pilots would accelerate its vision for transportation. Waymo said the partnership would let its technology reach "more people, in more places."
Neither offered many details of the agreement.
Lyft said the deal is non-exclusive and will allow it to continue a self-driving partnership with General Motors, which is a Lyft investor.
GM plans to deploy thousands of self-driving electric cars in test fleets partnering with Lyft beginning 2018, sources told Reuters in February.
Uber is the biggest U.S. ride service by volume and has been developing self-driving technology, which it sees as a key to its future, as it expands its ride service with human drivers.
Waymo has some of the most advanced self-driving vehicle technology and has been looking for partners, while Lyft offers ride services in about 300 U.S. cities.
Lyft is extremely early in its autonomous efforts. It has relied heavily on GM for any testing and doesn't have a program that rivals Uber's Advanced Technologies Group, a department in Uber dedicated to building self-driving technology.
The arrangement with Lyft suggests Alphabet is unlikely to rekindle its relationship with Uber. Alphabet's venture capital arm counts Uber as its largest investment, but tensions rose after Alphabet showed interest in developing a competing ride-hailing service. David Drummond, Alphabet's chief legal officer, stepped down from Uber's board last year.
Waymo and Uber are fighting in court over self-driving technology that Waymo says was stolen by a former employee who founded another company that Uber later acquired. Uber says it did not steal or use Waymo secrets.
Uber's request to handle the dispute in arbitration was denied Thursday by a judge, who also asked federal prosecutors to investigate allegations against the Uber executive at the center of the case.
The auto industry and technology companies are racing to develop self-driving technology, which they expect in a number of years will transform transportation, cutting costs of ride services and changing the way people buy and use cars.
"Waymo holds today's best self-driving technology, and collaborating with them will accelerate our shared vision of improving lives with the world's best transportation," Lyft wrote in an emailed statement.
To expand testing, Waymo may need to secure more vehicles. It has about 600 Chrysler Pacificas and has held talks with Honda to get its autonomous technology into the Japanese automaker's cars.
Talks on the Waymo and Lyft collaboration between began last summer, a person familiar with the situation said.
Lyft raised $600 million at a $7.5 billion valuation last month.
Bloomberg contributed to this report