Most frequently asked questions about Self-driving experience

If it’s a self-driving car, why is someone in the driver’s seat?

Pilots are there to ensure a safe and streamlined experience for passengers. They are constantly monitoring the vehicle systems and surrounding environment, and are ready to manually take control of the vehicle if an unexpected situation arises. They are comprehensively trained in self-driving vehicle operation with many hours of real-life experience.

Will my pilot explain what’s happening during the ride?

Before your trip begins, the pilot will offer an overview of the experience and answer any questions you may have. For this first phase of our self-driving program, pilots will not talk during the actual ride – but every vehicle will be equipped with a display so you can check out what the car sees, and how it is perceiving and responding to the world around it.

Why might a pilot need to take over?

The pilot might take over if there are any obstacles on the vehicle’s route, such as construction or if there is a traffic guard re-directing traffic. They will also take over in complex traffic situations, instances of bad weather, or unclear lane markings or signage. In these cases, the pilot will either navigate around the obstacle or pull over.

How will my pilot know when they need to take over? How are they trained?

Pilots receive many hours of training — both in the classroom and on the road — to properly understand how self-driving vehicles work. Much of that time is dedicated to learning exactly when and how to take over operation of the car. And, of course, they receive this training in addition to meeting all standard Lyft driver requirements, including being screened for both criminal offenses and driving incidents, a vehicle inspection, insurance verification, and any other locally mandated requirements.