Ford And Lyft Partner In Autonomous Vehicle Technologies

Lyft and Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) have entered a deal which will see them partner in testing autonomous cars which are optimized to be used in ride-hailing services. Ford, which recently picked a new chief executive officer, is the latest automaker to collaborate with Lyft in autonomous car efforts. Lyft has billed its platform as open and the first of its kind in the world. The partnership between the two is aimed at taking advantage of the different strengths of each company.

"Lyft has a network of customers, growing demand for rides and strong knowledge of transportation flow within cities. We have experience with autonomous vehicle technology development and large scale manufacturing. Both companies have fleet management and big data experience," the head of Ford's driverless car program, Sherif Marakby, wrote in an online post.

Learning process

According to Marakby the Dearborn, Michigan-based car manufacturer is aiming to refine its capacity in connecting with the dispatch platform of a ride-hailing service. Ford also aims to get a better understanding of the kind of infrastructure required in order to develop a fleet of autonomous cars meant for a ride-hailing service. Additionally the car maker will make use of the data that will be collected in its partnership with Lyft to determine the cities where ride-hailing service using autonomous cars would work best.

Lyft will also benefit from this partnership since unlike its rival Uber, it doesn’t have its own research and development initiative on autonomous cars. All that Lyft does is give other firms that already developing their own driverless car technologies a platform on which to test these cars.