Ford and Lyft Connect Brains to Develop Self-Driving Cars

An agreement has been struck by Ford and Lyft to test Ford’s self-driving fleet on Lyft’s network.

The goal is for Ford to build technology and processes capable of connecting with the Lyft network during periods of high driver demand. This setup would enable Ford to dispatch a self-driving vehicle to passengers’ location and take them to their destination, all without a driver, according to Sherif Marakby, Ford’s vice president of autonomous vehicles and electrification.

At the moment, the Ford-Lyft collaboration is intended as a research project until results show that customers can benefit from the technology. Ford will directly benefit from Lyft’s vast data trove aggregating information on highways and roads to make self-driving cars more efficient.

This move also bolsters Lyft’s burgeoning relationship building with suppliers and technology firms to seize additional market share. Already, it holds agreements with Waymo and GM, who made a $500 million injection into the company last year. Also, the ride-sharing brand signed a deal with Drive.ai, a Silicon Valley-based AI startup, to test a fleet of driverless cars in San Francisco. This contradicts Ford’s approach, one described in the industry as slowly catching up after a scrapped Google partnership in late 2015 to build autonomous vehicles and its former CEO’s flat-footed approach that led to his ouster.

No dates have been specified for the move. However, Ford has indicated plans to put self-driving passenger cars on the road by 2021.


More Hybrid News...