Ride-hailing service Lyft has recently passed a big milestone, giving more than 5,000 self-driving rides through its popular app. This positions Lyft as a serious competitor in autonomous ride-hailing technology with some proven technology through its partnership with Aptiv that it can use to further expand its business. Lyft provides the rides, but the technology that makes them driverless was developed by auto parts supplier Aptiv.
Lyft has been offering autonomous rides in Las Vegas, Nevada since January 2018. Lyft has a fleet of 30 self-driving BMWs and about 20 different locations where riders can be picked up and dropped off. If you need a ride on the Las Vegas strip, there’s a good chance it’s a route that’s programmed into these BMWs.
The self-driving BMWs are not completely driverless, and you won’t get a ride in one unless you agree to it ahead of time. If Lyft detects that the route you want to take is one that these BMWs can handle, it asks for your consent to ride in a self-driving car before sending it to pick you up. If it does, you’ll be greeted by two safety drivers in the front seats.
The best part for the passenger is that a ride in an autonomous car doesn’t cost any more than a normal Lyft ride. According to Reuters, neither Lyft nor Aptiv will disclose financial details about this specific service, but a Lyft representative claimed that both companies are making money on the venture.
It might just be in Las Vegas for now, but the day could be coming soon when you’ll be getting a ride from Lyft in a self-driving car in your own town.