March 20, 2018

Lyft Outlines Self-Driving Car Plans After Earlier Partnerships

22 July 2017, 12:57 | Lionel James

Kelly Sullivan Getty Images for Lyft

Kelly Sullivan  Getty Images for Lyft

Lyft said the efforts will develop hardware and software systems useable for self-driving vehicles.

Lyft is embarking on this in-house solution years behind Uber, Waymo, and many others. Lyft said it would be developing its own software and hardware to enable vehicles to drive without a human at the wheel, while also working to attract new partners who can plug their own self-driving cars into its grid.

Chief strategy officer for Lyft Raj Kapoor told Reuters, "We are putting down the accelerator significantly on investment on this".

"Lyft is uniquely positioned to build technology in collaboration with partners in a way that will make it possible to roll out self-driving cars at scale in the fastest, safest, most efficient way", Luc Vincent, Lyft's vice president of engineering, said, CNBC reported. Uber began testing self-driving cars previous year.

But now Lyft is building an open platform for self-driving vehicles and plans to maintain existing partnerships.

Lyft imagines self-driving cars will take over the road gradually.

If granted parole, OJ Simpson could be moving to Florida
The commissioners will hear arguments before deliberating off-camera to reach a decision, according to the board's website. Following his retirement, his celebrity status catapulted him to movie stardom and a cushy Brentwood, California, mansion.

The Open Platform Initiative is expected to bring together industry leaders to collaborate on the technology, rather than developing it in a proprietary way like Apple did with iPhones. Speaking at the Automated Vehicles Symposium in San Francisco recently, Joseph Okpaku, Lyft's vice president of government relations, said the company expects the majority of its rides to be given in autonomous vehicles within the next five years and added that auto ownership will decline as mobility options continue to grow.

Lyft has already said that it will open its ride-hailing network so self-driving companies can put their robot cars into service on it in the future to pick up passengers.

Lyft, in conjunction with nuTonomy, plans to have autonomous cars on the road in Boston by the end of this year. "For self-driving to work as an industry, there has to be more sharing".

Driverless cars will be chosen for particular customers by Lyft depending on traffic, weather, route and time of day, the company said. Unlike its far larger rival, Uber Technologies Inc, which has tackled everything from food delivery to flying cars, and expanded overseas, Lyft has operated strictly as a ride service for people in the United States.

As technology evolves, we'll face a hybrid ecosystem of both human-driven and autonomous vehicles. But Lyft is also beginning to pursue a more proprietary approach.

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