In case you are using Lyft Transportation Company’s vehicle in Boston, you may experience quite unusual circumstances. You’ll probably try to communicate with a driver, but the matter is there is no driver to speak to inside the vehicle.
One of these days, Lyft announced its cooperation with NuTonomy, a Massachusetts-based self-driving vehicle startup aiming at bringing driverless vehicles into its network. Both aforementioned companies have revealed plans to put to life a limited pilot to life sometime soon providing Lyft users with a possibility to hail an autonomous vehicle via Lyft’s dedicated application.
In Boston and Singapore, the NuTonomy Company has been utilizing Zoe electric cars manufactured by Renault and fitted with self-driving software during their tests. The word leaked out that in 2018, the company is nurturing a plan to put a wide fleet of driverless vehicles on roads in Singapore leaving behind such bellwethers as Google’s parent company Alphabet, General Motors, and Uber which elaborate similar technological solutions.
But a very interesting fact is that Lyft has already had other self-driving partnerships. One of them is the cooperation with Alphabet’s Waymo which was announced a few weeks before, and another one is the $500 million cooperation with GM eventually aiming at introducing its driverless Chevy Bolts into the Lyft’s network in 2018.
As of today, it’s quite unclear whether all these partnerships somehow turn on each other. Lyft spokesperson refused to comment details on its existing collaborations claiming, “These partnerships are non-exclusive. What we’re doing with other partners is very different.” Later, he also added they are currently reluctant to disclose any collaboration details marking that these partnerships have common a goal to solve pressing transportation issues and make cities better.
One thing is quite clear, NuTonomy’s self-driving cars will start integrating Lyft’s software with subsequent testing performance sometime soon. Lyft CEO Logan Green said, “There will be a version of the Lyft app running on a console in the car.” In addition, there are plans to optimize users experience by informing them about the self-driving vehicle actions.
So, when exactly can ordinary clients hail Lyft self-driving vehicle?
Green said, “As soon as we launch,” repeating it may happen in the next several months and adding Lyft won’t launch the pilot prior to receiving all necessary permissions from city and state regulators. All that matters according to Green is, “there’s no Phase I or Phase II. The service will be available to all public via the Lyft app right after it is launched.”