Ford and Lyft team up to bring driverless cars to the public
The partnership plans to deploy self-driving vehicles on roads ‘by 2021’
Ford has announced that it will partner with ride-hailing service Lyft to bring its self-driving cars “to the masses”.
The companies “will begin working together to design software to allow Ford vehicles to communicate with Lyft’s smartphone apps”, Reuters reports, with the aim of placing “self-driving vehicles on the ride services company’s network in large numbers by 2021”.
However, Ford’s autonomous vehicle chief Sherif Marakby told the news agency the company’s driverless cars will be connected to Lyft’s service but customers won’t be able to use them immediately.
Instead, Reuters says “Ford will put human-driven vehicles on Lyft’s network” in the early phase of the scheme, which the carmaker announced on Medium.
The two firms will share data with each other “to figure out the best cities to launch a ride-hailing fleet full of autonomous vehicles”, says Engadget, “as well as to conjure up the framework necessary to maintain that fleet”.
The partnership’s “end goal is to give passengers a way to hail self-driving cars as easily as they would a normal one”, the site says.
Fortune says Lyft released an “open platform designed to give automakers and tech companies working on self-driving cars access to its ride-sharing network of nearly one million rides per day” earlier this year.
As well as Ford, the ride-hailing company has partnered with General Motors and Waymo – the driverless car division set up by Google’s parent company Alphabet.