Ford will team up with ride-sharing service Lyft to accelerate development on self-driven cars.
The global carmaker says the partnership will help bring autonomous cars “to the masses”, driving down costs while improving reliability and accessibility.
The aim of the project is to make autonomous cars “mainstream”, leveraging Lyft’s existing customer base which Lyft says has increasing demands for transportation.
“Both companies have fleet management and big data experience,” Ford’s Sherif Marakby said.
“With our combined capabilities, we believe we can effectively share information to help make the best decisions for the future.”
Marakby said the pair will endeavour to create a shared technology platform (a call to Lyft summons a self-driven Ford), necessary infrastructure changes and the best cities to roll out the tech.
Ford also called upon government and business to play its part through technical advances and upgraded infrastructure.
The carmaker added that it did not want to be caught up a “race to be first”, rather concentrating on matching supply with demand.
To that end, human drivers will accompany the autonomous cars in their earliest days to improve safety and promote confidence from the public.
“We expect that our partnership with Lyft will accelerate our efforts to build a profitable and viable self-driving vehicle business,” Marakby said.
“With Lyft’s network and respected brand experience, we expect our ability to scale self-driving vehicles will play a critical role in safely bringing this technology - and its many benefits - to mainstream consumers.”
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