Lyft has began providing autonomous robotaxi rides, with two security drivers on board, in Austin, Texas. The autonomous drives can be powered by Argo AI’s expertise in Ford autos.
Customers can hail an autonomous journey utilizing the Lyft app, equally to how they might hail an everyday Lyft automotive. Costs for the rides will even be the identical as regular Lyft rides.
When the car arrives, riders use the Lyft app to unlock the doorways and begin their journey. Whereas riders can be sharing their rides will two security operators proper now, the corporate goals to provide totally autonomous rides sooner or later.
Austin is the third metropolis Lyft provides autonomous rides in, the primary two being Las Vegas and Miami. The corporate started giving rides in Miami in December 2021. These rides are additionally utilizing Argo AI expertise on Ford autos, as a part of a partnership between the three corporations that was introduced in July 2021.
In Las Vegas, Lyft started providing autonomous rides utilizing Motional expertise this yr however has plans for a bigger industrial launch in 2023. There, riders will hail autonomous rides from Motional’s all-electric Hyundai IONIQ 5-based robotaxis.
Earlier this yr, Argo AI introduced that it laid off 150 staff and shut down its autonomous car operation in Washington, DC. The corporate said that the layoffs had been a results of changes made to its marketing strategy to proceed on its path towards driverless deployments.
Autonomous deployments throughout the nation
Whereas Lyft and Argo AI are actually providing autonomous rides in Austin, Cruise, GM’s self-driving unit, additionally introduced plans to start giving driverless robotaxi rides in Austin and Pheonix earlier than the tip of the yr.
Cruise’s first driverless deployment was in San Francisco, the place the corporate lately started charging for totally autonomous robotaxi rides. Cruise at present operates 70 driverless taxis within the metropolis.
Cruise faces competitors in Pheonix and San Francisco from Waymo, the self-driving enterprise unit of Google’s guardian firm Alphabet. Waymo started totally driverless rides to its staff in San Francisco in March 2022, and in August it started totally driverless rides in downtown Phoenix to its trusted tester program members. Waymo had been working within the Pheonix suburbs since 2020.
Waymo is delivering one of many keynotes at RoboBusiness, which runs Oct. 19-20 in Santa Clara and is produced by WTWH Media, the guardian firm of The Robotic Report. Allison Thackston, technical lead & supervisor at Waymo, will talk about on Oct. 19 from 9:30-10:15 AM the technical challenges of growing autonomous autos. She will even present updates on Waymo’s ongoing deployments and work. Previous to Waymo, Thackston labored at Nuro, Toyota Analysis Institute and Oceaneering. She’s additionally a founding member of the ROS 2 Technical Steering Committee.