Ford today announced a new partnership with ride-hailing service Lyft which will help both companies further their self-driving car ambitions. Ford has invested significant resources in its autonomous driving program and Lyft has been making its own moves. This partnership aims to help both companies progress toward a more affordable, dependable, and accessible future of self-driving cars.
This partnership fuses Lyft’s ride-hailing platform and Ford’s self-driving car technology in a way. That’s where their works begin. They envisage a future when a Lyft user opens up the app during a period of high demand and the software is capable of sending them a self-driving Ford car that can take them to wherever they need to go.
That’s the ultimate aim here and given that Ford has experience with self-driving car technology and large scale manufacturing, it can combine that with Lyft’s fleet management expertise to further their joint cause.
The problems that they will be figuring out include connecting their platforms together to dispatch self-driving cars, deciding which cities to launch this service in, and figuring out what kind of infrastructure will be necessary to service and maintain a fleet of autonomous cars to ensure that they are always available when a customer needs one.
As they continue to build their technology platform, Ford is going to deploy cars with human drivers behind the wheel on Lyft’s network. This will enable the company to test its platform interface to ensure compatibility with Lyft’s ride-hailing platform.
Eventually, Ford will connect its autonomous cars to Lyft’s network. Precisely when that’s going to happen remains to be seen.