Ford, Lyft to work together to deploy self-driving cars

Lyft car sharing

Ford Motor stated on Wednesday it will work together with Lyft to deploy Ford self-driving vehicles on the ride-services company’s network in huge numbers by 2021.

Ford and Lyft will start their collaboration for developing software to allow Ford automobiles to interact with Lyft’s smartphone apps.

Ford self-driving test vehicles will be linked to Lyft’s network, however initially, consumers will not have the ability to use them, Sherif Marakby, Ford’s vice president for autonomous vehicles and electrification, informed Reuters. Ford is set to put human-driven cars on Lyft’s network.

He did not mention when Ford and Lyft expect to provide the first rides in self-driving vehicles.

“We’re not building prototypes for the sake of building models,” Marakby stated, adding Ford intends to eventually put thousands of self-driving automobiles in use.

Ford’s CEO Jim Hackett is set to meet investors on Tuesday to describe the automaker’s technique for increasing profitability. Ford shares dropped 1.65 percent until now this year, where as Detroit rival General Motors shares have increased 15.6 percent, and Fiat Chrysler Autos NV shares increased 71 percent.

Hackett’s strategies to contend for profits from mobility services, that include car sharing and ride hailing, will be one area of focus for investors. The Lyft partnership completes a piece of the puzzle.

Ford also is examining delivery services using self-driving cars and a van shuttle service. The self-driving vehicles the automaker will deploy through Lyft will use software developed by Argo AI, a company where Ford is investing $1 billion over the next five years.

The company has stated it will invest $700 million in a factory in Flat Rock, Michigan, to make it efficient in constructing electric and self-driving automobiles.

Lyft has stated it will provide an open platform for companies to deploy self-driving vehicles on its network, and has collaborations with self-driving technology start-up and Alphabet Inc’s Waymo.

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