Lyft has joined the ranks of Uber and Waymo, finally putting in the resources to create a self-driving division for their service. It’s a shift from their previous stance as they were going to work with other companies like Nutonomy and General Motors. This doesn’t mean that they still won’t be working with others, and it could enhance their competition with Uber.
The ride-hailing service will be employing hundreds of engineers at a new facility in Palo Alto, California. It’s assumed that they’ll be working to get a permit for testing self-driving vehicles in the state as Reuters notes the company doesn’t have one. However, they would be unveiling “a pilot with Nutonomy in Boston by year-end.”
It’s been an interesting adventure to this point. Originally, General Motors’ Cruise Automation was expected to be affiliated with Lyft. The car manufacturer bought the technology for nearly $600 million last year and Cruise’s CEO, Kyle Vogt, said that it would “very quickly” serve customers in the ride-hailing ecosystem.