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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.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. faces urgent anti-hacker crisis

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

The Biden administration is accelerating efforts to fill nearly 600,000 vacant cybersecurity positions in the public and private sectors bogging down efforts to protect digital infrastructure.

Why it matters: Following a deluge of ransomware attacks targeting critical government and corporate infrastructure this year, clogs in the talent pipeline are leaving federal, cash-strapped local governments and Big Business even more susceptible to hacking.

Mike Allen, author of AM
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Courage vs. coddling with China

Peng Shuai of China serves during the China Open in Beijing in 2017. Photo: Andy Wong/AP

The women's professional tennis tour suspended tournaments in China Wednesday out of concern for Peng Shuai, on the same day that a top business voice made excuses for Beijing.

Why it matters: Ahead of February's Winter Olympics in Beijing, some sports figures are taking on the regime — while Big Business shrinks from confrontation with the world's second-largest economy.

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What to know about the first MLB lockout since 1995

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Hope you enjoyed the recent flurry of free-agent activity, because it's likely the last non-lockout-related MLB news for a while.

Driving the news: The owners locked out the players after the collective bargaining agreement expired at midnight last night, leading to MLB's ninth work stoppage — and first since 1995.