There is a big chance we will see self-driving technology available for our taxis as soon as this next year. A lot of fuss has been made around the autonomous technology in general and a lot more around self-driving cars.
Partnering up, General Motors and Lyft announced they plan to test the self-driving technology with regular passengers on public roads as soon as this next year.
General Motors acquired a $1 billion autonomous car maker company called Cruise Automation and invested another $500 in Lyft’s plan to launch self-driving taxis.
The self-driving taxis will be hailed through the app, and the passenger will have the option to opt out of the driverless ride and ask for a driver. GM and Lyft will, in fact, begin providing free rental cabs for the Chicago drivers if they work enough trips.
Early tests will be ran with an engineer monitoring the self-driving taxi’s activity, so the self-driving taxis won’t have an empty driver’s seat when the technology will be launched.
Lyft’s director, Taggard Matthiesen, declared himself very satisfied with the partnership because it gives him the possibility to focus on one important aspect of the problem while GM is dealing with another one. So with their efforts and attention divided equally, they feel strong and confident.
The self-driving taxis they’ll launch will be Bolt EVs, Chevrolet.
The battle to make the most profit from the self-driving technology has another strong opponent: ride-hailing Uber, which opened a center to test their self-driving technology in Pittsburg, little over a year ago. They hoped to launch their fleet of driverless taxis in 2020, but GM and Lyft’s announcement might make them change gears.
Also, Ford with Pivotal and Google with Fiat are also hogging up the market.
Google will start testing their self-driving technology in the Chrysler Pacifica minivans this year, and Ford has invested $182.2 million in Pivotal’s tech.
These are exciting times we live in as we enter a new era of technological development and achievement. The internet is producing more and more videos with the tests of self-driving cars that avoid collisions so we wonder: what percentage of accidents will this technology actually eliminate for us? How much will our lives change with this self-driving technology?
Let’s just wait and see. The self-driving technology in taxis is just across the road, this 2017.
Image source: Wikimedia