Tuesday , 19 June 2018
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Robot cars will make up most of Lyft’s rides in five years

Autonomous self-driving cars are set to take off but they are less likely to be driven by private owners and will in all probability be part of networks operated by ride-hailing services, according to Lyft’s view of the future of transportation.

The ride-hailing company expects that Lyft rides in the robot cars will outstrip those in cars driven by human drivers within the next five years in the U.S, according to John Zimmer, its co-founder and president.

Ride-hailing companies, car makers and tech firms are eyeing autonomous cars as the next big opportunity. Uber Technologies tested its ride-hailing autonomous cars on the streets of Pittsburgh, Pa. recently, with a driver ready to step in during an emergency. Lyft says it is testing an on-demand network of autonomous vehicles in Phoenix and San Francisco in partnership with General Motors, which in January also invested $500 million in Lyft.

The forecast by Zimmer may appear a trifle optimistic in some places and may not reflect the views of others in the industry. Zimmer disagrees, for example, with Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, who has written about a model where autonomous car owners generate income from their vehicles while at work or on vacation by renting cars through a Tesla shared fleet. Musk’s model will not scale because individual car owners won’t want to rent their cars to strangers, Zimmer wrote.

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