May 15, 2017

Lyft and Waymo will work together on self-driving cars

AP Photo/Paul Sancya

Lyft and Waymo, Alphabet's self-driving car unit, have inked a deal to work on self-driving cars, the companies confirmed to the New York Times. The talks began last summer, according to the report.

Why it makes sense: The companies have a complimentary approach, since Lyft doesn't plan to build its own cars and Waymo has been developing self-driving car technology since 2009 (though it recently decided not to manufacture vehicles on its own). Waymo recently rolled out a pilot testing program in Phoenix through which passengers can summon a self-driving mini-van (with a safety driver in a front) through an app and take a ride wherever they need to go. Lyft's ride-hailing network could help Waymo expand its testing. The deal could also help Lyft catch up faster to rival Uber, despite being a distant No. 2 to it in the ride-hailing market.

Lyft also has a deal with GM: Lyft already has a similar deal with General Motors, which invested $500 million into the ride-hailing company in January 2016. The two companies said that they plan to use Lyft's ride-hailing network to test and develop GM's self-driving cars in the future.

A shot at Uber: The deal shows Alphabet growing further away from Uber. The search giant's VC arm, GV, was an early investor in Uber and chief legal officer David Drummond was on Uber's board until last year. However, as Alphabet's work on self-driving cars and ride-sharing has become increasingly directly competitive with Uber, the two companies have grown apart. And, of course, they're currently also embroiled in a trade secret theft lawsuit, with Waymo accusing Uber of stealing its self-driving car technology when it acquired a former employee's startup.

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 662,073 — Total deaths: 30,780 — Total recoveries: 139,426.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 122,666 — Total deaths: 2,147 — Total recoveries: 1,073.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump announces "strong" travel advisories for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, rules out quarantine enforcement.
  4. State updates: Alaska is latest state to issue a stay-at-home order — New York is trying to nearly triple its hospital capacity in less than a month and has moved its presidential primary to June 23. Some Midwestern swing voters who backed Trump's handling of the virus less than two weeks ago are balking at his call for the U.S. to be "opened up" by Easter.
  5. World updates: In Spain, over 1,400 people were confirmed dead between Thursday to Saturday.
  6. 🚀 Space updates: OneWeb filed for bankruptcy amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
  7. Hollywood: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have returned to U.S. after being treated for coronavirus.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Trump flags travel adversaries for New York, New Jersey, Connecticut

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

President Trump said Saturday night the CDC would issue a "strong" travel advisory" for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut and that a "quarantine will not be necessary."

The big picture: With more than 121,000 people infected, the U.S. has the most COVID-19 cases in the world, exceeding China and Italy, per data from Johns Hopkins. A second wave of American cities, including Boston, Detroit, New Orleans and Philadelphia, are reporting influxes of cases.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 13 mins ago - Health

Trump rules out quarantine in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut after pushback

President Trump on the White House grounds on Saturdya. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

President Trump tweeted Saturday night that he's decided not to introduce quarantine enforcement measures fo New York, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut, but a "strong" travel advisory will be issued for those states.

Why it matters: The president said hours earlier he was considering the move to combat the rise in novel coronavirus cases. But he received pushback, most notably from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), who told CNN it would cause "chaos." "This would be a federal declaration of war on states," Cuomo added.

Go deeper: Updates on coronavirus in the U.S.