Lyft and Ford announced to the public that they have come to terms with developing and utilizing self-driving vehicles for the ride-hailing company.
Software development will be done with teams from either company working together. The development will be made in order to synch Ford’s self-driving cars with the Lyft app, giving the latter’s passengers a choice of using an AI vehicle.
Ford’s self-driving and traditional cars will both be added to Lyft’s network, but users will not yet be able to use the former. Ford’s Vice President of Autonomous Vehicles and Electrification, Sherif Marakby, said that the self-driving vehicles will not be deployed to the public until they have ensured the public’s safety and are able to produce technology that will deliver a “positive, reassuring experience where we can gain meaningful feedback.”
Analysts stated that the companies aim to offer their customers variety and a possibly safer way to travel with the inclusion and later deployment of the self-driving vehicles. According to the chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), approximately 32,000 lives can be saved through the use of self-driving vehicles.
Lyft and GM
Ford is not the only company that Lyft has partnered with for the inclusion of self-driving vehicles into their services.
General Motors (GM) are also working with the San Francisco based ride-hailing company. Though no official details have been made public as of yet, sources – who chose to stay anonymous because of the subject – shared some details about the project between the two companies.
GM will be testing thousands of self-driving electric vehicles solely made for Lyft, meaning that GM might not even be looking into selling any of their autonomous vehicles. Thousands of automated Bolt hatchbacks are planned to be tested and released on the roads by 2018.
If the plans will be able to push through, the project will be the largest autonomous vehicle test, surpassing Google’s self-driving project, Waymo, that are using 60 prototypes across four states.
GM’s chief executive officer released a statement to the public, “In the coming months, we’ll take the next bold steps in testing our autonomous technology as we lead the way to fully self-driving vehicles without any human driver as a backup.”
Investors positively responded to the company’s fast-moving process of producing autonomous vehicles, causing GM shares to rise sharply within the past few days. Stocks rose 3 percent after the company’s announcement of higher sales on Tuesday.
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