Automotive

General Motors and Lyft plan to develop autonomous ride-sharing vehicles

General Motors and Lyft plan t...
General Motors President Dan Ammann (center) with Lyft Inc. co-founders John Zimmer (right) and Logan Green (left)
General Motors President Dan Ammann (center) with Lyft Inc. co-founders John Zimmer (right) and Logan Green (left)
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General Motors President Dan Ammann (center) with Lyft Inc. co-founders John Zimmer (right) and Logan Green (left)
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General Motors President Dan Ammann (center) with Lyft Inc. co-founders John Zimmer (right) and Logan Green (left)
GM will become a preferred provider of vehicles for short-term rental by Lyft drivers from hubs across the US, while Lyft drivers and customers will be able to access GM’s range of vehicles and its OnStar services
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GM will become a preferred provider of vehicles for short-term rental by Lyft drivers from hubs across the US, while Lyft drivers and customers will be able to access GM’s range of vehicles and its OnStar services

With the likes of Google moving into the auto industry by way of autonomous driving tech, General Motors (GM) has bet big on Lyft. The carmaker will invest US$500 million to help grow the ride-sharing service. The "long-term strategic alliance" will include the development of autonomous vehicles.

"We see the future of personal mobility as connected, seamless and autonomous," says GM president Dan Ammann. "With GM and Lyft working together, we believe we can successfully implement this vision more rapidly."

The agreement doesn't just cover the joint development of autonomous vehicles, but of of a network of on-demand autonomous vehicles. According to GM, the network will be built upon its own knowledge of autonomous technology and upon Lyft's ride-sharing service capabilities.

In addition, GM will become a preferred provider of vehicles for short-term rental by Lyft drivers from hubs across the US, while Lyft drivers and customers will be able to access GM's wide range of vehicles and its OnStar services. The aim these benefits is to help create a "richer ride-sharing experience for both driver and passenger."

Elsewhere, the companies will provide each others' customers with "personalized mobility services and experiences."

Source: General Motors

5 comments
Gabe Ets-Hokin
A "richer ride-sharing experience for both driver and passenger." I guess being unemployed enriches the human experience, eh, John Zimmer?
Bruce H. Anderson
One of the things that makes Uber and Lyft successful is being able to use other people's cars. Now GM and Lyft want to have their own fleet? Their own garages/lots? Their own maintenance/support staff? They might have been better off spending the money on a good app for Yellow Cab.
Stephen N Russell
Lisc to Uber & other auto makers & get competitive for rates & prices alone, I say Yes. Must have & expand.
Daishi
@Gabe Ets-Hokin Autonomous driving will not lead to short term unemployment and I have reservations about even long term being a net reduction in employment. Right now there is a huge boost to employment for companies that research, design, and build sensors, software, cars etc. as everyone ramps up investment. 99.9999% Autonomy will be massively expensive to create, hugely complex, and expensive to buy yet will still require a full time attentive driver until it's 100% and that day will be a ways off because there are so many difficult to program scenarios. Even after autonomy is here these systems will still be built, deployed, improved on, and tested by massive teams of people and as a result many jobs in transportation will be replaced with jobs in tech automating the process of driving. The US for instance will need to hire far more people to fill these roles than we have qualified candidates available to fill them. We will have to import and/or outsource a lot of the workforce required to build these platforms because there simply aren't enough candidates available. If people are unemployed it's not because there aren't available jobs its that they are lacking the required skill set for the jobs available. There is a massive push for robotics, AI, deep learning, automation etc. The Pentagon got a multibillion dollar budget increase next year for AI and automation as well. If you have the skill set in these fields and are willing to relocate to the jobs are companies will fight to employ you. PhD candidates in deep learning/AI are being hired out of college starting out making more than their professors make. I agree there will eventually be a bloodbath in unskilled labor but for qualified people in tech I don't think the employment landscape has been this good in a while. People have to make an effort to adapt but there is no reason anyone has to see an unemployment line any time in the immediate future over the changes. For those willing to lean/adapt it should be seen as a huge opportunity.
Alexander Lowe
With every new article about robot cars, either on Gizmag or elsewhere, I can't help wondering, 'Why bother with a private vehicle at all?' Simpler for city-dwellers would be a publicly-owned fleet of municipal, electric, robot taxis. Cuts out the middlemen, keeps it accountable and run as a service, and would make it easier for the EVs to be practical, improving urban air quality into the bargain. Or, if the software isn't up to fully automated vehicles quite yet, there's always a decent public transport system as an alternative...