Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Lyft Embarks on Grandiose Plan to Build Its Own Self-Driving Technology

Lyft is following Uber into self-driving cars Why Everything Lyft Has Been Doing This Year Is Starting to Make Sense
Kelvin Reese | 22 July, 2017, 00:58

Also unlike Uber, Lyft is being careful not to write drivers out of the equation.

Lyft said its technology will be an agnostic, open platform that will allow a multitude of partners to bring in their own self-driving vehicles that can simply plug into the Lyft network and operate autonomously.

Now Lyft is jumping in, with the announcement that the US ride-hailing company will develop its own self-driving technology at a facility in Silicon Valley.

"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. Carmakers are inching towards building cars that really do drive themselves. When a rider requests a Lyft along a route that a self-driving vehicle can complete-likely in a geofenced area-the company's algorithm would dispatch an autonomous vehicle. Members of a key House subcommittee unanimously approved a bill that could establish the first federal laws governing self-driving cars that took place on Wednesday.

Vincent, who joined Lyft early this year, previously spent 12 years at Google, where he led development of Google Street View, a part of Google Maps that provides panoramic views along many streets worldwide.

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The San Francisco-based company says it will open its self-driving vehicle network, inviting automakers and tech companies to use it to haul passengers and gather data. "We're on our way to creating a self-driving system".

Lyft, in conjunction with nuTonomy, plans to have autonomous cars on the road in Boston by the end of this year.

Perhaps more than most others, Lyft seemingly has laid the groundwork for deploying autonomous vehicles among a varied fleet.

With so many companies both large and small chasing advances on the software side of autonomous vehicles, this development is a bit of a head scratcher, said Sam Abuelsamid, senior research analyst with Navigant Research's Transportation Efficiencies program.

Lyft does not have a permit to test autonomous cars in California, according to the state Department of Motor Vehicles. Uber is facing a protracted trade secrets suit brought by Waymo that alleges that Otto co-founder Anthony Levandowski stole 14,000 proprietary files while he worked at Alphabet's self-driving auto company.

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