GM invests $500 million in Lyft, plans on-demand network of self-driving vehicles

“General Motors Inc. said on Monday it will invest $500 million in Lyft Inc and laid out plans to develop an on-demand network of self-driving cars with the ride-sharing service,” Steve Trousdale reports for Reuters.

“The biggest single Detroit-Silicon Valley crossover deal to date comes as automakers work out how to respond to the rush of technology companies such as Apple, Alphabet and Uber – Lyft’s biggest rival – to control cars of the future and likely reshape the global auto industry,” Trousdale reports. “The No. 1 U.S. automaker’s investment accounts for half of Lyft’s latest $1 billion fundraising round. It is one of GM’s biggest investments in another company and the largest single cash injection to date by a traditional automaker into a young technology firm.”

“The two companies said the partnership was based on the shared view that self-driving cars will first reach consumers as part of a ride-sharing service, rather than vehicles owned by drivers,” Trousdale reports. “The partnership will tap into GM’s work on driverless cars and Lyft’s software that matches drivers and passengers and calculates routes, to create a network of cars that would operate themselves and be available on demand. The two companies did not set out a timeline to get the on-demand network up and running, but said they would immediately offer Lyft drivers short-term rentals of GM cars.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It will be very interesting to see how the personal transportation market and the auto-making markets shake out.

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  1. Well interesting to see that GM understands that if self driving becomes viable at all this is the only way they will do so at least until the idea matures over the years. If Apple is indeed into self driving versions of its car lets hope they sort out ‘Maps’ by then.

    1. I was wondering when the car companies would clue into this and try to push individual taxi entrepreneurs out of the way with fleets of their own.

      Maps seems to be already “sorted out” pretty well. Always room for improvement though.

  2. When it was first hinted that Apple was getting into the car business, I think many people were imagining a product that would compete with Tesla . . . I have always viewed it as Apple creating a self-driving “networked” car, that works like the Kiva robots used in warehouses (see Youtube) . . . Basically, self-driving taxis, that can be summoned from an App, but also have central traffic management (e.g. central control of cars during rush hour traffic, to choose less congested routes). . . I imagine Apple working out a deal with a small Chinese city in which they deploy 100s of these Apple networked cars, and try it out.

  3. “On-demand self driving vehicle”

    Sounds exactly like a bus to me.

    On-demand – a service that I will have to buy

    Self driving – my bus driver takes care of that and I wonder how many years of his salary could be paid in lieu of this human-less technology.

    I suppose I live in an area where bus service is awesome. But I do remember Atlanta where bus service was wholly insufficient. They just needed a smarter system. San Fran and BART seemed ok.

    And this seems safer to me than hundreds or thousands of autonomous vehicles running around.

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