Ford has revealed that it has partnered with Lyft in order to test driverless cars. Lyft has formed a series of partnerships with both technology and motor vehicle manufacturers and the Dearborn, Michigan-based car maker is the latest such partner. According to Ford the partnership will enable the two companies to make progress in their bid to build a transportation future that is accessible, dependable and more affordable.
Last year in December Ford made a commitment that it will launch a driverless car to be used in ride-hailing and ride-sharing services by 2021. At the time a driverless Fusion Hybrid was used as a demonstration. Earlier in the year Ford said that it would be investing $1 billion in the course of the next half a decade towards the development of Argo artificial intelligence technology for use in its autonomous car efforts. According to the motor vehicle manufacturer the virtual driver system of Argo AI and its autonomous vehicle make use of the driverless ride-hailing service easier.
Ease of use
“Someday, when you open the Lyft app during a period of high demand, Ford and Lyft software will need to be capable of quickly dispatching a self-driving vehicle so that you can get to your destination,” said Ford in an online posting.
According to Ford the current number of Lyft’s customers, the increasing demand for ride-hailing services and its knowledge of transportation flows in urban areas coupled with Ford’s experience in large scale manufacturing and driverless car technology will make for a powerful combination.
Other firms that Lyft has partnered with in the firm’s driverless ride-hailing service efforts include General Motors. The partnership between Lyft and General Motors will see the two deploy thousands of driverless cars for testing next year. This test fleet is expected to be the biggest of its kind in the world by any car maker.
According to Ford, the issue is not necessarily about being a pioneer but building a product that adequately meets the needs of customers. The motor vehicle manufacturer is placing emphasis on dependability and safety to ensure that customers are able to trust the experience which the autonomous car technology will provide in the future.
The partnership between Lyft and Ford coincides with the results of a survey conducted by ReportLinker which shows that 60% of Americans expressed optimism in autonomous cars. Interest in driverless buses and taxis however fell from 42% to 33 between September last and this summer.