The ride-hailing company is partnering with Aptiv to test out a fleet of BMW 5 series autonomous cars in Las Vegas.
Autonomous cars have been in the spotlight lately, and not in a good way. From Uber having its issues with faulty software and resulting fatalities to Tesla's barreling through the side of buildings for the same reason, it's not the best of times for autonomous cars.
Lyft will put the autonomous cars out on Sin City's streets by August of this year and will do so with the help of Aptiv (formerly Delphi), one of the world's biggest auto suppliers. Customers can book rides through the Lyft app and will get a notification that the car picking them up is self-driving. From there they can opt out if they don't feel like being picked up by software on wheels.
The Long Game
Lyft has been playing things slowly, seeing how companies like Uber, Waymo and Tesla have performed in the autonomous cars realm. It's kind of a smart move to hold off a bit as those companies have had their own scandals and shortcomings.
Aptiv Getting Active
Aptiv has already been seeing its technology made manifest as Boston-based nuTonomy has been testing self-driving cars out on the streets there. All this is coming on the heels of the California DMV reporting major issues with the technology behind self-driving cars on the state's roads. The annual reports showed a number of issues related to software technology flaws and troubles with the autonomous systems.
Lyft is also coming in the autonomous cars industry at a good time as car ownership, or the interest in car ownership, has gone down, posing a big threat to the traditional business of auto sales. GM, Ford, and Daimler are trying to find ways to keep up with the new environment of ride-sharing and Lyft is already a step ahead.
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