According to the Wall Street Journal, GM and Lyft are planning to have within a year a fleet of self-driving Chevrolet Bolts taxiing customers around in a yet-undisclosed city. Because the biggest hurdle to the self driving vehicle are laws and regulations, the vehicles will have someone behind the steering wheel just in case but ultimately the goal of the two companies will be to do without drivers altogether.
“We will want to vet the autonomous tech between Cruise, GM and ourselves and slowly introduce this into markets,” Taggart Matthiesen, Lyft’s product director, said in an interview. That will “ensure that cities would have full understanding of what we are trying to do here.”
Lyft has a prototype smartphone application that would show customers the option of being picked up by an autonomous car. It would have options to contact a GM OnStar assistant for questions or to aid the rider if some problem occurred. The app also allows the passenger to tell the car when to “go” and when he is finished with the ride and the car can leave.
The app is only a prototype at this point, but it speaks to how the company is trying to solve issues of trust with an autonomous vehicle.
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