Lyft is set to take on the future and compete fairly in the future of rideshare by debuting self-driving cars in Boston. Lyft partnered with self-driving company nuTonomy to pilot its first set of self-driving vehicles. This service was rolled out at the end of 2017 and riders are being randomly matched with these self-driving cars. However, these vehicles are not completely autonomous; a human driver is placed behind the wheel to take over if the need arises. The pilot began in Boston’s Seaport district and will hopefully move to other cities soon.
Lyft announced this partnership with nuTonomy earlier in 2017 and then piloted the service at the end of the year. According to nuTonomy, the aim of this partnership is two folds: ‘First, we want to let members of the public experience driverless vehicles firsthand, so they can better understand the impact this new technology will have on their lives. Second, based on feedback from pilot participants, nuTonomy’s engineers will adapt and improve our system, so that we can deliver an autonomous transportation experience that is extremely safe, efficient, and comfortable.’
So how will it work?
NuTonomy has been operating self-driving vehicles in Boston since January of 2017. Tests were carried out in a park somewhere safe within Boston out of the way of regular traffic. As the service is now fully operational, riders will be randomly paired with one of these self-driving nuTonomy cars. All you do is request a ride with Lyft and you could be paired with a self-driving car.
This timely development couldn’t have come at a better time for Lyft. The company’s biggest rival Uber has been beset with many unfortunate incidents and even experienced a change in management. The roll out of a driverless service without any incident helped to put Lyft at the forefront of rideshare. However, the company’s rival Uber is also testing its driverless vehicles in Pittsburgh. Uber also working with Hyundai and has acquired OTTO – the self-driving truck technology company. Already, we have more people embracing the concept of driverless cars. It is safe to say that the future of driving will see most vehicles becoming partly or fully autonomous.
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