Dec 16, 2020 - Economy

Lyft to offer self-driving taxis in several cities in 2023

Image of a Motional self-driving car in Las Vegas

A self-driving Lyft in Las Vegas. Photo courtesy of Motional

Autonomous vehicles will be available on Lyft's ride-sharing network in multiple U.S. cities beginning in 2023, Lyft and self-driving tech company Motional announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: It represents a potential milestone in the commercial rollout of self-driving technology, which AV developers say will lead to safer, lower-cost transportation.

  • The announcement comes less than two weeks after rival Uber pulled the plug on AV development, selling its self-driving unit to Aurora, which could one day deploy robotaxis on the Uber network.

Details: Motional, a joint venture between Hyundai and Aptiv, will integrate its next-generation self-driving Hyundais into the Lyft network in several unnamed cities.

  • The vehicles will be equipped with sensors, computers, and software to enable fully-driverless operation and remote vehicle assistance. 
  • Lyft will be responsible for the rideshare network and customer experience.
  • A small fleet of self-driving test vehicles (with a human safety driver) have been available on the Lyft network in Las Vegas for several years.
  • Last month, Motional received permission from the state of Nevada to remove the driver from those cars.

The bottom line:  After years of hype, autonomous vehicles could find a path to market within a few years.

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