Innovation for self-driving cars has rapidly increased over the past few years. With companies like Tesla introducing its Autopilot, many others are jumping onto the smart technology bandwagon by testing out autonomous-related features.
One of the latest companies to share news that its dipping its toes into the autonomy pool is ridesharing mobile app Lyft.
Taggart Matthiesen, Lyft’s director of Product, is focused on self-driving cars, but he shared a comment with Recode that this does not mean human drivers are out of the picture.
“[Human] drivers have always been part of our family; they have been core to our service,” said Matthiesen. “As far as I’m concerned, they will continue to be on that. Over time, technology will give us the opportunity to provide additional services on our platform, whether that is a concierge service, whether that is an in-vehicle experience ... these are all things that we will slowly evolve and work with our drivers on.”
While Matthiesen noted that drivers will never be replaced due to various actions that require human interaction, he did confirm that the carsharing company has put together an advisory council to look into the future of workers and self-driving cars. But don’t expect to see self-driving Lyft cars any time soon — although the company is slowly rolling out some smart technology-enabled vehicles in the near future, it may be another ten years before large-scale expansion.
The entrance of Lyft into the, already crowded, self-driving market could spell more trouble for taxi service companies. The more autonomous aspects the ridesharing company introduces into its fleet of cars, the more likely costs can be be reduced, thus leading to more expansion in the carsharing arena.