Lyft Gains Permission to Test Autonomous Vehicles in California


Ride-hailing company moves closer to self-driving vehicles

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Ride-hailing company Lyft has received permission to test autonomous vehicles in California by the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles, according to a report from Reuters. Lyft is the latest to receive permission in California and joins companies like Waymo and Apple, as well as automakers Subaru, Ford, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and General Motors.

The license comes right after the ride-hailing company announced a number of strategic partnerships with companies like Ford. These partnerships were created in order to test autonomous vehicles because Lyft intends to incorporate them into their vehicle fleet and use them as part of their ride-hailing business. The partnership with Ford, in particular, aims to bring self-driving cars to the mainstream as both companies collaborate to find how to dispatch autonomous vehicles as efficiently as possible; however, the Ford and Lyft partnership doesn’t intend to put passengers in autonomous vehicles just yet. Instead, both  companies intend to gradually phase them in with human-driven vehicles to ensure that the experience remains similar.

Earlier this year, Lyft also announced partnerships with Waymo and nuTonomy. The partnership with Waymo is intended to help Lyft better compete against its chief rival, Uber. Its partnership with nuTonomy, on the other hand, focuses on improving the passenger experience and improve the safety of self-driving vehicles.

Source: Reuters, California Department of Motor Vehicles

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