On Friday, Lyft announced that customers will be able to ride in self-driving cars by the end of this year. The autonomy program is expected to launch in Boston where riders who opt into the trail can be automatically picked up in a self-driving car accompanied by test drivers sitting in the front seats.
Lyft’s focus on designing a common software interface that automakers can use to put vehicles on the road and interact with the public is much different and out of the box than building cars on their own. Competing with automakers such as Ford and General Motors has lead them to capitalize on an increasingly competitive technology market.
The company plans to open a research facility in Palo Alto, California later this year and hire hundreds of employees to work with other automakers to build sensor packages and other hardware.
Self-driving cars are expected to play a key role in the future of transportation and can prevent 95% of traffic accidents caused by humans. Ride hailing and car sharing is also intended to decline. Members of a key House subcommittee unanimously approved a bill that could establish the first federal laws governing self-driving cars that took place on Wednesday.