Lyft has been expanding rapidly over the last few months, and they've been open about their interest in self-driving tech. While they've made it clear they will always have human drivers, they've partnered with various companies, such as Waymo, to explore autonomous ridesharing. And now they've taken another step in that direction: Lyft announced that it's partnered with Drive.ai, a company that produces AI for self-driving cars, for a pilot program in the Bay Area.
Drive.ai's focus is artificial intelligence for self-driving cars, which is cost-efficient and can be developed relatively quickly. Their aim, much like Lyft's, is to use autonomous driving tech to improve quality of life. The partnership will put actual self-driving cars, powered by Drive.ai's intelligent software, onto the streets of San Francisco. Drive.ai has already received a self-driving permit from the state of California, and all pilot program vehicles will have a trained driver in the car, just in case.
It's impossible to know how self-driving technology will function if companies can't test it on actual roads, so this pilot is an encouraging sign. In addition, when companies like Lyft partner with organizations developing this tech, they help push forward developments in (and regulations of, which is key -- we still haven't developed many of the laws we'll need to govern autonomous vehicles) self-driving. It's just another step forward for the technology as a whole.