Carmaker General Motors Co. and taxi startup Lyft will go on the road performing tests with self-driving taxis within a year.
In the tests, customers in some American cities choose whether they want to travel with a self-driving vehicle or not. According to a Lyft executive, Details of the self-driving taxi testing program are still being worked out but it will include customers in a yet-to-be disclosed city. However, customers will be able to opt in or out of the driver when hiring a Lyft car from the company’s mobile app.
“We will want to vet the autonomous tech between Cruise, GM and ourselves and slowly introduce this into markets,”
Lyft’s product director, Taggart Matthiesen, said in an interview.
“That will ensure that cities would have a full understanding of what we are trying to do here.”
Early this year GM invested $ 500 million in Lyft – whose services are similar to Uber Technologies Inc. partly because the taxi company and its growing file of drivers look as an important sales channel for the Bolt – an electric car that will be launched later this year during soft demand for electric vehicles. In addition, the car giant is working on the acquisition of San Francisco-based Cruise Automation, which also develops technology that allows cars to drive without a driver.
Through the investments, General Motors hopes to compete with rivals such as Silicon Valley giants Tesla and Google.