Kez Casey | Jan 5, 2016

General Motors has announced that it will enter into a US$500 million (A$696 million) strategic alliance with ridesharing service Lyft with the long-term goal of the two companies set to deliver autonomous services to customers.

That target is still some way off, however, and neither GM nor Lyft has set a timeframe for the deliver of autonomous services..

In the more immediate future, the collaboration will look at potential new services and systems refinements that the two organisations can bring to their existing customers. Lyft drivers will also be offered a fleet of GM vehicles through rental locations across the US.

GM has began autonomous vehicle studies, but is yet to set a launch timeframe for the technology
GM has began autonomous vehicle studies, but is yet to set a launch timeframe for the technology

"We see the future of personal mobility as connected, seamless and autonomous," said GM President Dan Ammann.

"With GM and Lyft working together, we believe we can successfully implement this vision more rapidly."

Lyft, whose cars can be identified by their pink moustache, offers a similar service to Uber but seeks to stand apart with a simpler app interface, and easier options for carpooling to split the cost of your ride. The company is yet to begin operating in Australia

As part of the new deal General Motors will hold a seat on Lyft’s board of directors.

"Working with GM, Lyft will continue to unlock new transportation experiences that bring positive change to our daily lives,” according to John Zimmer, president and co-founder of Lyft.

“Together we will build a better future by redefining traditional car ownership."

Lyft isn’t the first ridesharing company to commit to an autonomous future however, with rival Uber having already said that it wants to add autonomous vehicles built by Tesla to its fleet in the future.

Header image provided by Flickr user SPUR

MORE: General Motors | Ride Sharing | Autonomous Cars

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