Ford and Lyft are teaming to take self-driving cars mainstream
Ford and Lyft have announced a new partnership with the companies say will help them work toward a more affordable, dependable, and accessible transportation future. The goals is to be able to quickly dispatch a self-driving vehicle to get users to a destination as quickly and as safely as possible.
Ford and Lyft believe, with their combined capabilities, they can effectively share information to help make the best decisions for the future. The companies aim to answer such questionsas: How should they create their technology platform so that it can easily connect with a partner’s platform (such as Lyft’s) to effectively dispatch a self-driving vehicle? Based on their shared data and information, which cities should they work with to deliver their self-driving vehicle service? What kind of infrastructure will be necessary to service and maintain a fleet of self-driving vehicles to ensure they are available whenever a consumer needs one?
Ford and Lyft are focusing their efforts on building a service based around people’s needs and wants, rather than simply a race to be first with self-driving vehicles. They are prioritizing safety and dependability so customers will trust the experience that their self-driving technology will one day enable.
As Ford builds its technology platform, it will deploy human-driven vehicles on Lyft’s network. This will reportedly allow testing of the platform interface to ensure compatibility with Lyft’s customer-facing platform, which is seen when opening the Lyft app. Developer teams from both companies already are working together, programming their systems so they can communicate. The goal is that customers using Lyft will not notice any difference in their experience.
Ford also will connect its self-driving test vehicles to Lyft’s network. It does not plan to put customers in the vehicles until certain that the technology delivers a positive, reassuring experience that provides meaningful feedback. When ready, Ford plans to have self-driving cars operating along Lyft’s current community of drivers to help accommodate times of significant consumer demand to ensure that transportation remains timely and affordable.