Ford Joins Teams With Lyft On Autonomous Driving

Lyft announced this week that Ford has become the ride-sharing company’s latest autonomous car partner.

According to Tech Crunch, Ford—recently recognized as top of the industry for self-driving cars—joins Jaguar, GM and Alphabet’s Waymo, as well as startups Nutonomy and Drive.ai as Lyft allies. Ford has said that it is committed to working with partners to bring its vehicles to market in ways that actually help consumers, with one early partner being Dominos Pizza.

“Some view the opportunity with self-driving vehicles as a race to be first,” said Ford’s Sherif Marakby. “But we are focusing our efforts on building a service based around actual people’s needs and wants. We are placing a high priority on safety and dependability so customers will trust the experience that our self-driving technology will one day enable.”

In July, Lyft announced it was opening up its network and inviting companies across the technology and automotive arenas to collect data and help get self-driving vehicles from place to place as they “haul passengers.”

The open source attempt, dubbed “Level Five,” is one that Raj Kapoor, Lyft’s chief strategy officer, said melds Lyft’s network experience with the expertise of those tech and auto firms. The open network initiative takes its place alongside — and will be available to — the partnerships in place with Google and General Motors (GM).

“We believe this is [inevitably] where the world is going,” Kapoor told AP. “We need to be playing this role.”

This has been a year of progress for Lyft, which has reaped the rewards of Uber’s numerous problems. Lyft reached one million daily rides in July and, while that is less than Uber’s daily average of 5.5 million worldwide, recent data suggested that Lyft is actually growing faster than its rival.



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