Ford, Argo AI to deploy autonomous vehicles on Lyft network

DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. and a self-driving car firm it partly owns will be part of with the Lyft ride-hailing service to supply autonomous rides on the Lyft community.

The service utilizing Ford automobiles and a driving system developed by Pittsburgh-based Argo AI will start in Miami later this yr and begin in Austin, Texas, in 2022. It’ll begin with human backup drivers and go totally autonomous at an unspecified date.

The automobiles will collect information to put the groundwork to deploy 1,000 robotaxis on the Lyft community in a number of markets in the course of the subsequent 5 years, the businesses stated Wednesday in an announcement.

Till April, Lyft was growing its personal autonomous car methods, however the firm ended up promoting its unit to Woven Planet, a Toyota Motor Corp. subsidiary, for $550 million. The sale closed on Tuesday. Below the Ford deal, Lyft will get a 2.5 p.c fairness stake in Argo AI in alternate for ridership and security information.

Lyft CEO Logan Inexperienced stated within the assertion that the deal is the primary time all items of the autonomous car puzzle have come collectively. “Every firm brings the dimensions, data and functionality of their space of experience that’s essential to make autonomous ride-hailing a enterprise actuality,” he stated.

Ford and Volkswagen are main buyers in Argo, which is engaged on know-how that can let Ford begin an autonomous ride-hailing service. Pittsburgh-based Argo is testing autonomous automobiles with human backup drivers in six US cities.

The deal is the newest in a string of partnerships and consolidation within the autonomous car enterprise. In December, Lyft rival Uber introduced it could promote its autonomous car improvement arm in a inventory deal. The customer is self-driving know-how firm Aurora. Uber was to speculate $400 million in Aurora and maintain a 26 p.c stake within the San Francisco firm.

Within the Phoenix space, Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo is already providing a restricted totally autonomous experience service. Cruise, Normal Motors’ majority-owned autonomous car unit, additionally plans autonomous ride-hailing with out human backups on an unspecified date.

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