Lyft Begins Autonomous Testing
Riders in Boston may be able to test out new self-driving vehicles
Earlier this year, Lyft and a little known startup called nuTonomy announced a partnership together. It seems that partnership is progressing quite nicely as this week they announced that passengers in Boston may have the option to be picked up by a self-driving vehicle.
This is interesting for a number of reasons. First, Lyft must have an incredible amount of confidence in nuTonomy to put it's reputation on the line this early in the partnership. Second, while most car companies have selected a warm weather location to initially test their driverless vehicles, Lyft has selected a massive US city in the north. In December. Maybe they will elect to take these vehicles off the road when it snows, but both the timing and the location choice is interesting.
For the pilot in Boston, riders will have the option to take the driverless option or not.
Also, although these vehicles are self driving, there will still be a representative from nuTonomy in the vehicle in case something goes wrong.
In the press release (found here: http://www.nutonomy.com/company-news/nutonomy-and-lyft-launch-boston-self-driving-pilot/), two goals of the partnership are explicitly stated:
"First, we want to let members of the public experience driverless vehicles firsthand, so they can better understand the impact this new technology will have on their lives. Second, based on feedback from pilot participants, nuTonomy’s engineers will adapt and improve our system, so that we can deliver an autonomous transportation experience that is extremely safe, efficient, and comfortable."
This is just the start of another chapter in what is sure to be a crazy 2018 when it comes to ride-sharing and driverless vehicles.
If anyone has taken a driverless Lyft, we'd love to hear from you here: https://driverlessratings.com/review
Image credits: nuTonomy