With companies like Lyft and Uber taking the world by storm, it was only a matter of time before these companies started branching out and partnering with auto manufacturers. Autonomous cars are still a few years away – at least – but Lyft and GM are already looking to that somewhat-near future and are preparing to streamline the ride-sharing industry.

This preparation has led to a “long-term strategic alliance” between GM and Lyft that will bring about a network of on-demand autonomous vehicles in the U.S. GM President Dan Ammann said, “We see the future of personal mobility as connected, seamless and autonomous. With GM and Lyft working together, we believe we can successfully implement this vision more rapidly.” John Zimmer, the president of Lyft, believes the alliance will “bring change to our daily lives” and should redefine car ownership.

What this alliance between GM and Lyft really means is that GM is investing $500 million in Lyft and will hold a seat on Lyft’s board of directors. GM is now the preferred provider of short-term use vehicles to Lyft drivers, who will have access to a wide range of cars and OnStar services. GM and Lyft will work together to provide personalized services to each other’s customers. As GM provides the cars and technology, Lyft is said to continue providing new transportation experiences.

Continue reading for the full story.

Why it matters

GM And Lyft Signed Agreement For Developing Integrated Network Of Autonomous Vehicles
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In the short term, this deal will probably benefit Lyft customers fairly well, and if nothing else, you can expect to get picked up in a newer GM car next time you use Lyft. In the long-term, however, I see this alliance taking away from those who depend on Lyft as a source of income – regardless of how significant that income is. Once we get to the point that autonomous vehicles can be trusted, I can see GM and Lyft using autonomous fleets as a primary go-to for Lyft calls, with human drivers taking up the slack, if any. Ultimately, I can see Lyft become a fully autonomous company altogether. As technology evolves, it will continue taking over jobs normally performed by humans, and in this case, I could see it having a residual effect on local economies and human drivers are slowly phased out.

Press Release

General Motors and Lyft today announced a long-term strategic alliance to create an integrated network of on-demand autonomous vehicles in the U.S.

GM And Lyft Signed Agreement For Developing Integrated Network Of Autonomous Vehicles
- image 660534

GM will invest $500 million in Lyft to help the company continue the rapid growth of its successful ridesharing service. In addition, GM will hold a seat on the company’s board of directors.

“We see the future of personal mobility as connected, seamless and autonomous,” said GM President Dan Ammann. “With GM and Lyft working together, we believe we can successfully implement this vision more rapidly.”

John Zimmer, president and co-founder of Lyft, said: “Working with GM, Lyft will continue to unlock new transportation experiences that bring positive change to our daily lives. Together we will build a better future by redefining traditional car ownership.”

Key elements of the GM and Lyft alliance include:

Autonomous On-Demand Network: The joint development of a network of on-demand autonomous vehicles will leverage GM’s deep knowledge of autonomous technology and Lyft’s capabilities in providing a broad choice of ride-sharing services.
Rental Hub: Beginning immediately, GM will become a preferred provider of short-term use vehicles to Lyft drivers through rental hubs in various cities in the U.S.
Connectivity: Lyft drivers and customers will have access to GM’s wide portfolio of cars and OnStar services, leveraging two decades of experience in connectivity. This will create a richer ride-sharing experience for both driver and passenger.
Joint Mobility Offerings: GM and Lyft will also provide each other’s customers with personalized mobility services and experiences through their respective channels.

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Press release
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