GM invests in Lyft to work on driverless ride
The GM investment is part of a total of $1 billion in the latest round of investments in Lyft, including $100 million from a group of Saudi Arabian investors. General Motors is teaming up with ride hailing service provider Lyft to create an integrated network of on-demand autonomous vehicles in the US.
Though this new partnership between Lyft and General Motors gives the two companies several advantages over other competitors, both presently and in the self-driving vehicle future, the two companies will still have to work incredibly hard to be leaders in the space.
GM in the meantime will also start immediately providing use of vehicles over the short term for drivers of Lyft at rental hubs for certain cities in the United States of which they will be equipped with the OnStar navigation system, as well as other modern up to date technology.
The move by GM highlights the industry’s desire to become more involved in these new technologies/services before it’s too late.
Much larger rival Uber is developing its own autonomous technology, while Google and Ford are reportedly set to announce a similar partnership during the CES conference.
Logan Green, co-founder and chief executive officer of Lyft, displays his company’s “glowstache” during a launch event in San Francisco. The two companies provide essentially the same service although they can be differentiated by their signature markings: Uber drivers have a stylized “U” displayed on their windshield while Lyft drivers display a pink mustache on their vehicles.
However, it still lags behind Uber, which is valued at more than $50 billion.
Although the concept of shared rides could be injurious to auto manufacturers, GM says it welcomes an opportunity to be a part of the changing business model. It expects revenue of about $1 billion in 2016.
Lyft was founded in 2012 and has grown quickly to establish ride-sharing networks in 190 USA cities with the vision of improving personal transport and reducing the number of cars on the road.