Lyft and Uber have been dueling for customers and drivers since conception. Now, Lyft is bringing something new to the playing field: driverless cars.
- On January 4, 2016, GM invested $500 million in Lyft.
- Utilizing technology from Cruise Automation, GM and Lyft will start testing automated cars on the road in 2017.
- The city/state has yet to be released as to where the testing will be held.
- Riders will be able to choose between a car with a human driver or a piloted car.
- Chevy Bolts, fully electric cars, will be the model of choice.
In early January, GM announced that it had invested $500 million dollars in the ride-sharing giant, Lyft. GM has long been known as exactly what they are: the sellers of cars. In the past, this industry has shown substantial growth. However, GM believes that the future lies in the access to cars without the need for each individual to own one. Lyft agrees.
In 2017, Lyft intends to put automated cars on the road. With this bold move forward, one of the biggest issues that ride-sharing companies face will be obliviated for the company. Cities like Austin that are notoriously biased against any company beyond the old-fashioned taxicab model will possibly be able to receive the prompt service that they once had without the issue of a human driver behind the wheel.
Lyft has yet to announce which city or cities will be the first to test out the new model. However, the driverless cars will come with a great new option: Wi-Fi or TV. No longer will it just be a way to get around in cities, this new automated car option opens up avenues of personal travel like never before. Previously, drivers would have to take turns at the wheel, and subsequently miss out on the fun, or simply drive straight through in order to make it to their destination. When the new model is rolled out, checking facts online on the way to a meeting or simply spending quality time watching the scenery go by while a movie plays in the backseat with the family on the way to a weekend away will be a real possibility.
The Chevy Bolt has been tapped as the car of the future. The fully electric model ensures a smooth transition from needing a person behind the wheel to letting the machine do the work. With the need to stop to fill up the tank eased, driverless cars move from a mere idea from the minds of sci-fi writers in the 80s into a whole new dimension: reality in the here and now of 2017.
While automated cars are in the near future of Lyft and GM, riders will be able to decide between getting a human driver or an automated one. Thus, whether one wants to travel in safety and style with a human driver or be on the forefront of the future with a driverless car, the choice will be there.