Ride sharing platforms and driverless cars go together like peanut butter and chocolate. That is what Ford and Lyft seem to believe. Together they announced an official partnership. Ford’s self driving cars will be deployed with Lyft by 2021. Now we have talked at length about other partnerships similar to this but now it seems different. One big deal is that this is a sign that Ford is set on developing self driving car tech in-house. Another big development is that is sets up a possible conflict with the partnership between Lyft and General Motors (Ford’s biggest rival).
Ford and Lyft Build a Future: How These Companies Will Work Together
Engineers from Ford, with some cooperation from Lyft are now developing a unique software that will be optimized with Lyft. Lyft made an announcement earlier this year that they also want to create their own tech stack. Ford has long been rumored to begin putting out autonomous Ford Fusion hybrids on a ride hailing service. Many assumed that since Lyft was working with General Motors, Ford would turn to Uber. They were wrong, as this announcement shows that Lyft will be the service Ford self-driving cars use.
The way that Ford’s VP of autonomous vehicles and electrification, Sherif Marakby describes the way Ford and Lyft will work together is interesting. He says that you can open up your Lyft app even when rides are in high demand. The Ford and Lyft software will work together to make sure a self driving vehicle gets to you as fast as possible. It will also ensure your safety and that you reach your destination on time. That is why Ford needs Lyft and Lyft needs Ford.
Lyft, Uber, Other Automakers, and More: Our Self Driving Future
Neither Lyft nor Ford commented on Lyft’s relationship with GM. There may not be a complete conflict of interest, however. Lyft has long announced that they were creating a new open platform to help with self driving cars made my every company. Lyft has announced that this platform will be available on GM cars, Jaguar Land Rover and even Waymo (Google/Alphabet).
Finally, while GM is an investor and board member with LYFT it is “non-exclusive.” GM reps also said they themselves are set on lunching their own self driving tech and that this relationship between Lyft and Ford does not breach or conflict with any of their arrangements
The reason we have been reporting on self driving car development is that it is not only a relatively new phenomenon, it is happening incredibly fast. In fact it is projected to be a $7 trillion industry. It is no surprise that tech companies and automakers all want in on this. There are so many intertwined partnerships and collaborations between fellow automakers, pats suppliers, and tech startups. It can be daunting to keep track of. We should also note that most of these collaborations are not exclusive. So companies end up working together with one another and can do so while still competing.
More on this ongoing development soon as we get more information. Tell us what you think about Ford and Lyft’s exciting new partnership in the comments section below!