Lyft is back in news, as the company has launched a self-driving car pilot. Lyft will be sending out autonomous vehicles that were developed by startup company NuTonomy. The cars will be used to pick up passengers in Seaport district of Boston. An important security aspect is that these cars are not totally driverless. A human safety driver will be sitting behind the wheel, and will take over control if there is an emergency. This is a huge moment for Lyft, a company that has seen growth this year as Uber is struggling with scandals.
NuTonomy is a company that came out of MIT in 2013, which was recently acquired by automotive supplier Delphi. The company was testing these cars in Boston’s Raymond L. Flynn Marine Park. It is a small industrial zone, however, that does not create the exact conditions of a city. The riders will be randomly paired with one of these cars when they use the Lyft app, which is limited to Seaport area for the moment.
NuTonomy commented on one of its blogs, “Our partnership with Lyft has two goals. First, we want to let members of the public experience driverless vehicles firsthand, so they can better understand the impact this new technology will have on their lives. Second, based on feedback from pilot participants, NuTonomy’s engineers will adapt and improve our system, so that we can deliver an autonomous transportation experience that is extremely safe, efficient, and comfortable.”
However, NuTonomy is not the only company to collaborate with Lyft for self-driven cars. Lyft is also working with Drive.ai to roll out self-driven taxis across San Francisco. The company has also attracted new investments and signed up key partnerships with tech companies and auto companies.