Lyft is one of the biggest ride-sharing companies on the planet right now, perhaps second only to international behemoth Uber, and today it has announced a joint venture with General Motors, a car maker that needs no introduction. Both Lyft and GM will jointly work on developing autonomous or self-driving cars and for this purpose, the iconic car manufacturer is going to invest $500 million in Lyft.
GM President Dan Ammann has said that this investment sends a signal that his company and Lyft are both in it for the long-term, pointing out the significant amount of change in the world of mobility, he highlights the importance of this “long-term strategic alliance” between GM and Lyft.
This strategic alliance could potentially change the way we go from point A to point B in the future though it’s not the only effort of its kind. Uber is also working on its autonomous car technology that will enable its for-hire cars to drive themselves. Google and Ford are also expected to announce a similar joint venture at CES 2016 this week.
A joint statement from both Lyft and GM says that their work will focus on creating “integrated network of on-demand autonomous vehicles part of people’s daily lives.” They may very well be able to do that but it’s going to take some time, since autonomous cars aren’t fully street legal yet, and aside from the technological hurdles there are many regulatory issues that need to be resolved before we can actually take advantage of this technology.