Lyft, Ford Motor Company and Argo AI have announced the launch of an autonomous ride-share service in Miami, U.S., delivering on a shared commitment to deploy Ford’s autonomous vehicles, powered by the Argo Self-Driving System, on Lyft’s ride-sharing network.
The launch of this service marks the first time that autonomous vehicles are available for ride-sharing in Miami as part of the collaboration between Lyft and its partners, which was announced in summer 2021.
An industry-first collaboration
In an industry-first collaboration, on 21 July 2021, Lyft, Argo AI and Ford announced that they would begin working together to commercialise autonomous ride hailing at scale. The unique collaboration brought together all of the parts necessary to create a viable autonomous ride-hailing service, including the self-driving technology, vehicle fleet and transportation network needed to support a scalable business and deliver an exceptional experience for riders.
“This collaboration marks the first time that all of the pieces of the autonomous vehicle puzzle have come together this way,“ said Lyft Co-Founder and CEO, Logan Green. “Each company brings the scale, knowledge and capability in their area of expertise that is necessary to make autonomous ride-hailing a business reality.”
Argo AI and Ford are responsible for deploying self-driving cars, with safety drivers, on the Lyft network as part of a network access agreement, with passenger rides now operational in Miami and due to launch in Austin later in 2022. As vehicles are deployed, Lyft users within the defined service areas will be able to select a self-driving vehicle to hail a ride.
This initial deployment phase will lay the groundwork for scaling operations, as the parties are now working to finalise agreements aiming to deploy at least 1,000 autonomous vehicles on the Lyft network, across multiple markets, over the next five years.
The collaboration is designed to scale autonomous vehicle deployment using market and safety data that helps to define where self-driving technology can safely serve consumers. As part of the agreement, Argo AI will use anonymised service and fleet data from Lyft to overcome the challenges faced by other autonomous vehicle companies by focusing on where they can build a sustainable business and validate deployment through localised safety data.