Electronics and Semiconductors

As Uber Struggles with its Self-Driving Cars Program, Lyft Celebrates 5,000 Self-Driving Ride Milestone

22 August 2018
The Aptiv fleet of vehicles that is on the Lyft network in Las Vegas. Source: Lyft

Uber’s autonomous vehicle program has had a tough 2018, beginning with the tragedy in Tempe, Arizona in March, where one of its self-driving vehicles killed a pedestrian. As a result of this, the company temporarily halted its development of the technology and later laid off all of the self-driving safety drivers in its pilot project in Pittsburgh, PA. More recently, Uber scuttled its autonomous trucks division in order to focus on work toward its self-driving commercial cars.

While Uber is definitely having issues, its main rival, Lyft, is celebrating a milestone in performing 5,000 self-driving rides in Las Vegas.

Lyft began a self-driving program with Aptiv, a maker of self-driving mobility technology, this past January at CES 2018. After the show, the companies continued to offer self-driving rides in Las Vegas beginning in May with a fleet of Aptiv autonomous vehicles on the Lyft network.

The project in Las Vegas is part of Lyft’s strategy to reduce car ownership and build a ride-sharing platform that will result in smarter cities, greener technology and more efficient transportation.

The self-driving rides work like standard Lyft rides - if you are in range of a vehicle that’s available, request a ride and pay via the app.

Lyft has released some of the information regarding the self-driving rides, including that 96 percent of the passengers indicate they intend to ride in an autonomous vehicle again and 20 percent of passengers have already taken a second or third self-driving ride. The average passenger rating is 4.96 out of 5 stars and passengers commented on the technology being safe and easy.

“Hitting 5,000 consumer rides is a major milestone, not just for the Aptiv and Lyft, but for the entire mobility space,” said Glen De Vos, CTO of Aptiv and president of Aptiv’s Mobility and Services group. “This is the first of its kind commercial self-driving program, and we are proud to be offering AVs for public use today. We continue to see exponential growth in passenger rides, with nearly perfect user ratings of 4.96 out of 5 stars.”

To contact the author of this article, email PBrown@globalspec.com

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