Lyft with Motional said today they will launch their fully driverless vehicles on the Lyft network in 2023 in multiple US cities. This is the first promised deployment partnership between a rideshare company and a driverless technology provider for transportation. Motional will develop and manage the fleet of driverless cars with an” integrated driverless system with no one behind the wheel, while Lyft will provide the “rideshare network and rider experience.”
Lyft with abundant self-interest and General Motors backing claims a rideshare network is “vastly important to making AVs become a reality.” This thesis in search of proof will balance AVs operating on Lyft’s network with human drivers and other options including bikes, scooters, and transit. Lyft claims it can ensure riders always have reliable transportation options regardless of where they need to travel. Lyft also claims that riders want a ride to arrive within minutes of requesting one and it’ll take years for AVs to reach the scale and technological sophistication needed to meet this service level for all ride scenarios. Rideshare networks might be where riders experience self-driving technology for the first time.
“After pioneering a self-driving pilot with Motional for the last three years, it’s fitting that our first commercial open platform deployment partnership for driverless cars would be with them,” said Raj Kapoor, Lyft’s CSO and head of AV business. “This partnership represents a shared mobility vision, where human drivers and self-driving cars work together to empower people to get where they need to go, without having to own a car.”
“We’re at the frontier of transportation innovation, moving robo-taxis from research to road,” claimed Karl Iagnemma, President and CEO, Motional. “We’re partnering with Lyft to do exactly that.”