If you thought that self-driving cars were cool, imagine what it would be like to ride one of them within the next year! Lyft and General Motors are planning to launch self-driving taxis on the streets, where they would be picking up regular Lyft passengers.
According to The Wall Street Journal, GM’s strategy to test out self-driving cabs as possible alternatives to regular ones for the future is clearly a move to get the better of its rivals such as Uber, and to become the best in the automobile industry. However, this technologically advanced step should not come as a complete surprise as GM has been directing all its efforts towards introducing the next big thing in public transport after it spent a whopping $500 million in acquiring Lyft, the taxi-haling service, a few months ago. GM has since, also gone on to buy San Francisco-based Cruise Automation Inc., a developer of autonomous-driving technology, by dishing out $1 billion bucks, something that it intends to put to use in its latest endeavor.
Lyft’s product director, Taggart Matthiesen stated in an interview: “We will want to vet the autonomous tech between Cruise, GM and ourselves and slowly introduce this into markets” that will “ensure that cities would have full understanding of what we are trying to do here.”
The car that GM and Lyft have finalized for testing out the new technology is Chevrolet Bolt, reports The Verge. The reason behind this decision is simply because the battery of a Bolt is placed under the floor of the car’s cabin, which leaves a lot of extra room for back-seat passengers. Also, the operating cost of the car in question is a lot lower than other models of cabs, making it an ideal choice for drivers and passengers alike.
In the event of hailing a self-driving car, the smartphone app for Lyft will contain an addition option for those who wish to avail an autonomous car. In case a passenger was to run into some form of trouble, he/she can always get in touch with a GM OnStar assistant with queries or ask for help. The app would also be modified to allow the passengers to direct the car to stay or leave during or after they have finished with the ride.
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