Lyft Goes All In on Driverless Car Tech

22 July, 2017, 00:54 | Author: Franklin Nunez
  • Lyft is following Uber into self-driving cars

"Waymo tested stop-and-go traffic performance, long ideas, operating on aggressively sloped roads - and even monitoring cabin controls as well as the state of its self-driving software and the exterior of the vehicle using onboard sensors", Tech Crunch notes.

Lyft is getting bolder in the wake of Uber's unraveling.

Lyft had previously started development in the autonomous vehicle space, but had been doing so via partnerships with the likes of Google subsidiary, Waymo and General Motors, who had been developing their own technology in the space.

"We want to take a proactive role into pushing the industry into a more open environment", Raj Kapoor, Lyft's chief strategy officer told reporters on Thursday at an event according to the Wall Street Journal.

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Lyft develops self-driving vehicle facility in California to compete against rivals Uber and Google in driverless race. Carmakers are inching towards building cars that really do drive themselves. Instead, it wants "to create a self-driving system we can partner with the auto industry to bring to life", Kapoor said.

Lyft has no plans to manufacture its own robot cars. Partners could decide to leave the Open Platform Initiative and develop their own software.

On Friday, Lyft announced that customers will be able to ride in self-driving cars by the end of this year.

Sensors can be mounted on these cars to collect location information that helps Lyft build high-definition maps for autonomous driving, and the sheer size of the company's network could help it develop the know-how to navigate roads around the world at a rapid pace. It visualizes a hybrid network of human-driven and self-driving cars, with the system selecting whichever is best for a passenger's requested route. "For self-driving to work as an industry, there has to be more sharing".

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There may be no need to tip you Lyft driver in Boston later this year - because there may no be a driver. Lyft officials also hinted that the company will announce another partnership in the near future. It envisages a combination hardware and software kit, with which third-party manufacturers such as automakers could easily upgrade their cars to delete the driver.

The move comes as its main competitor, ride-hailing giant Uber, runs rudderless after its founder Travis Kalanick resigned last month following a chain of scandals.

The company is promising always to use a "hybrid network" in which drivers are on hand to assist the robot vehicles - noting that this is going to remain necessary indefinitely in numerous 350 cities worldwide where Lyft operates and where detailed maps are not available.

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