More and more companies are joining in on the autonomous driving market.
For a futuristic technology that hasn’t really hit prime time, there are a lot of companies involved in autonomous driving. CES 2019 was littered with players – from small startups to large automakers – touting autonomous cars, components, or possible uses. But while most of those players close down their booths and get out of town at the end of the show, Lyft and Aptiv get back to work.
Lyft and Aptiv brought self-driving cars to Las Vegas during CES 2018 – and never left. They began giving rides to the public in May 2018, allowing anyone with the Lyft app to hail an autonomous car. Since then, Lyft and Aptiv have given thousands of rides, and demonstrated how self-driving cars could work in the real world.
“We are together the largest commercial self-driving car operation today on public roads,” Jody Kelman, director of Lyft’s self-driving platform said. But while the program has been successful, it also shows just how far the technology still has to go.
Deploying autonomous cars is no small undertaking. The technology itself is very complex, and getting it on the road involves an equally complex balancing act of government relations, fleet logistics, and customer service. That’s why Lyft and Aptiv decided to team up.
Aptiv operates the cars and developed the systems that allow them to drive themselves. Under its previous guise as the automotive supplier Delphi, the company completed a successful coast-to-coast drive between San Francisco and New York, with a car in autonomous mode a claimed 99 percent of the time. In December 2017, the company rebranded as Aptiv to focus more on tech, spinning off its more traditional automotive parts business.
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