Argo AI and Ford Motor Company are working together to bring autonomous ride hailing vehicles to the Lyft network.
The companies said the collaboration will bring together all the necessary services to bring autonomous ride hailing service to the mainstream with self-driving technology, vehicle fleets and a transportation network.
“This collaboration marks the first time all the pieces of the autonomous vehicle puzzle have come together this way,” said Logan Green, Lyft co-founder and CEO. “Each company brings the scale, knowledge and capability in their area of expertise that is necessary to make autonomous ride-hailing a business reality.”
The move comes after Lyft earlier this year sold its own autonomous vehicle division, called Level 5, to Woven Planet Holdings, the financial wing of Toyota.
The Ford self-driving vehicles will come with safety drivers with passenger rides beginning in Miami later this year and in Austin starting in 2022. When Lyft users open the app, a Ford self-driving vehicle will be an option to select.
The companies aim to deploy at least 1,000 autonomous vehicles on the Lyft network across multiple markets over the next five years.
As part of the agreement, Argo will use anonymized service and fleet data from Lyft to analyze the challenges faced by autonomous vehicle companies and how they can build a sustainable business and validate deployment through localized safety data.
Additionally, Lyft will receive 2.5% of the common equity of Argo AI as part of the licensing and data access agreements.
“Argo and Ford are currently piloting, mapping and preparing for commercial operations of autonomous vehicles in more cities than any other AV collaboration, and this new agreement is a crucial step toward full commercial operations—the addition of Lyft’s world-class transportation network,” said Scott Griffith, CEO of Ford’s autonomous vehicles and mobility businesses. “These three companies share a belief that autonomous vehicles will be a key enabler for a cleaner, safer and more efficient urban mobility landscape. This is the beginning of an important relationship between three dynamic companies ultimately aiming to deliver a trusted, high-quality experience for riders in a multi-city large scale operation over time.”