Moving to the next phase of autonomous vehicles on the Lyft network

Self-driving technology is advancing rapidly as more companies launch fully autonomous vehicles. The car itself is just one part of the solution. 

In 2016, we began to lay the groundwork for our vision for transportation and how we would scale self-driving cars on the Lyft network.  Since then, we've been hard at work building a first-of-its-kind self-driving rideshare program with some of the world’s top autonomous partners — and we've learned a lot along the way.  Today, we're proud to be the largest public self-driving commercial platform in the U.S. with more than 100,000 paid rider trips

We continue to lead the industry as we now head into a new phase in our journey to a self-driving future: preparing for city-scale deployment, side-by-side with human drivers on Lyft’s rideshare network.  

Here’s why we are moving to the next phase: 

  • Our hybrid network is a clear path to market for self-driving cars. To start, due to technical limitations, self-driving cars will only be able to safely operate in limited geographies under limited road conditions. We describe this in more detail in the Third Transportation Revolution — while we were ambitious on the timing, we still believe this is how it will play out. Today, self-driving companies are partnering with Lyft for the best and most cost-effective way to bring self-driving cars to scale, using our trusted transportation network with rides, bikes, scooters, and transit to meet all of riders needs.

AV Timeline
  • Self-driving technology progress is accelerating.  Our pilot programs have demonstrated to us how self-driving vehicles will scale. Positive industry milestones such as companies removing safety drivers, applying for more driverless permits, and expanding tests to more cities demonstrate that self-driving technology will be ready for urban ridesharing deployment in the near future.  

  • Our riders like self-driving rides. 96% of riders tell us they want to ride again once they’ve taken a self-driving ride and 98% rated their self-driving ride 5 stars. Back in 2012 when Lyft began, the concept of ridesharing — getting a ride from someone in their personal car — was a new way to get around. As people consider trying new technologies, they’ll continue to look to Lyft to bring them a safe and reliable experience. 

  • Our fleet services and commitment to electric vehicles support the needs of deployment. As self-driving cars begin to scale, companies will need to clean them, maintain them, ensure they are operating correctly, and have vehicle charging stations throughout cities. Our fleet capabilities, such as our 7 driver service centers, offer quality maintenance service and are the foundation for where self-driving vehicles can be maintained, charged, and stored when not on the road. Our commitment to reach 100% electric vehicles (EVs) on the Lyft platform by 2030 means we’ll be ready with the necessary charging infrastructure.

Why scale self-driving rides in a city now? 

We’ve learned from our pilot programs that scaling self-driving vehicles is solvable - even if at first on limited routes - across tech readiness, business model, and city readiness. As self-driving technology advancements have accelerated, the cost of sensors and compute is declining, enabling a business model with positive shared economics. Since launching in 2012, Lyft has been a trusted partner to cities and we’ll continue to work with policymakers, as states like California begin to allow companies to offer paid self-driving rides, to realize the positive impact self-driving vehicles will have on communities.

What’s next

We’ll be announcing self-driving vehicle partners for deployment soon, as we pave the way for cities to be built around people and not cars.  

This announcement contains forward-looking statements about Lyft, including statements about our autonomous vehicle technology initiatives. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those addressed in the forward-looking statements are detailed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We do not undertake an obligation to update our forward-looking statements to reflect future events, except as required by applicable law.