Remember how a while back Ford announced its developments in the autonomous car sector will translate into a self-driving model for a ride sharing service from 2021 onward?
While most specialists were expecting back then to see Uber being chosen by Ford, thanks to initial close ties and the fact that its ride sharing service is available on a global scale, it turns out the second largest US automaker has now shaken hands with the latter’s biggest rival – Lyft. The two new partners aim to speed up the development of self-driving machines – so both Ford and the transportation networking company Lyft are apparently kicking off their autonomous car development projects into higher gear. The new agreement is designed to deliver “progress toward a more affordable, dependable, and accessible transportation future.” Ford calls Lyft a strategic partner, with the latter’s “network of customers, growing demand for rides, and strong knowledge of transportation flow within cities.”
Ford, meanwhile, brings in its “experience with autonomous vehicle technology development and large-scale manufacturing”, with the two aiming to accelerate autonomous cars development and also study their integration into the traffic. Both will work towards delivering a technology platform that will help “effectively dispatch a self-driving vehicle.” Also, sharing data and information, Ford and Lyft will decide the best cities for a self-driving vehicle service. During the development process, Ford is set to use human-driven test vehicles on Lyft’s network to see how it integrates with Lyft’s application and a customer-facing platform. Ford announced engineers from both companies are already hard at work – aiming to deploy self-driving models connected to Lyft’s network, though initially they won’t be allowed for customer use.