Ford Motor Company is partnering with Argo AI and Lyft to create an autonomous ride hailing service, according to the companies' press release.
Argo AI and Ford will release self-driving Ford vehicles along with safety drivers on the Lyft network. This is part of a network access agreement and set to begin in Miami later this year and in Austin in 2022. Ford worked closely with city leaders in Miami, Austin, and Washington, D.C to support commercial fleets and meet specified needs, according to the release.
“This collaboration marks the first time all the pieces of the autonomous vehicle puzzle have come together this way,“ Lyft co-founder and CEO Logan Green said. “Each company brings the scale, knowledge and capability in their area of expertise that is necessary to make autonomous ride-hailing a business reality.”
Lyft users will be able to choose a self-driving vehicle for their ride. This initial deployment phase will lay the groundwork for scaling operations: Over the next five years, the companies look to deploy a minimum of 1,000 autonomous vehicles on the Lyft network across several markets.
“This collaboration is special because we’re executing on a shared vision for improving the safety, access to and affordability of transportation in our cities,” said Bryan Salesky, founder and CEO, Argo AI. “Beyond the link that Lyft provides to the customer, we’ll be able to work together to define where an autonomous service will benefit communities the most and ensure we’re deploying the technology safely.”
Argo will use fleet data from Lyft to recognize challenges faced by other self-driving vehicles. Lyft will receive 2.5% of Argo AI’s common equity as part of the licensing and data access agreements to work on the commercialization of autonomous vehicles.
“These three companies share a belief that autonomous vehicles will be a key enabler for a cleaner, safer and more efficient urban mobility landscape,” said Scott Griffith, CEO, Ford Autonomous Vehicles and Mobility Businesses. “This is the beginning of an important relationship between three dynamic companies ultimately aiming to deliver a trusted, high-quality experience for riders in a multi-city large scale operation over time.”
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