Uber adds Waymo's self-driving cars to its rideshare network, but only in one city

Waymo announces its partnership with Uber.
(Image credit: Waymo)

What you need to know

  • Waymo has announced its new partnership with Uber.
  • The partnership will bring Waymo's self-driving cars to Uber's ride-hailing and delivery services through the main app and Uber Eats.
  • Tests will begin later this year in Phoenix with a limited number of cars.

Waymo is showing more of its confidence with a new partnership aimed at bringing its autonomous cars to more riders.

The Alphabet-owned company announced today via a press release that it has partnered with popular ride-hailing service Uber. Waymo's "multi-year strategic partnership" with Uber will soon begin in Phoenix, Arizona as the partnership picks up traction. Not only will Waymo's self-driving cars be a part of Uber's ride-hailing service, but users can also use one of these cars for deliveries through Uber Eats.

Given the announcement today, the Waymo-Uber debut won't take place in Phoenix until later this year. Waymo states a "set number of Waymo vehicles" will be involved in the beginning. So, vehicles paired alongside Uber's network probably won't be as widespread until both sides iron out any potential problems as the partnered service opens publically.

Users will retain the ability to use the Waymo One app on their Android phone or iOS device to call a car, as well, throughout the new partnership.

"We’re excited to offer another way for people to experience the enjoyable and life-saving benefits of full autonomy," says Tekedra Mawakana, co-CEO of Waymo. "Uber has long been a leader in human-operated ridesharing, and the pairing of our pioneering technology and all-electric fleet with their customer network provides Waymo with an opportunity to reach even more people."

Waymo expanded testing for its driverless cars to the downtown Phoenix area back in August 2022. San Francisco was another city the company's self-driving cars were featured, but that was limited to employee rides only. Waymo's Phoenix testing saw those who signed up for its "Trusted Testers" program the year prior getting a chance to see what the autonomous vehicles were about on a more public (but still limited) scale.

One key note about its Phoenix test is that these cars were completely driverless — Waymo conducted these tests without the existence of a safety driver, which would usually be present in case something went wrong with the car. This will most likely continue as the company has seemingly become more confident in its vehicles' ability to navigate traffic safely.

Additionally, this isn't the first time Waymo and Uber have partnered up together. Before the summer got underway in June 2022, Waymo Via partnered with Uber Freight which connected the former's autonomous trucking solution with the latter's platform. Shippers could utilize Waymo's Driver technology and decide to pair it with Uber Freight for streamlining supply chains and ensuring shippers can get their products where they need to go quickly across Uber's shipping network.

Nickolas Diaz
News Writer

Nickolas is always excited about tech and getting his hands on it. Writing for him can vary from delivering the latest tech story to scribbling in his journal. When Nickolas isn't hitting a story, he's often grinding away at a game or chilling with a book in his hand.