Most frequently asked questions about Self-driving technology

How is my car able to “see” the world around it?

Self-driving cars leverage a suite of sensors to understand the world around them. These include LiDAR (which uses light to perceive the world around it, in the same way that sonar uses sound), radar, and optical video cameras. These readings are fed into computer vision algorithms to synthesize and understand the surrounding environment. All objects the vehicle perceives with its robust set of sensors will be rendered on a display that passengers can see.

Okay, but is it safe?

Self-driving cars already have some major advantages over human drivers. For instance, self-driving cars have sensors that allow them to “see” 360-degrees around the car simultaneously, effectively eliminating blind spots. And self-driving software is constantly learning and improving on itself — the more hours spent actually driving, the smarter it gets. Right now, we’re combining the extraordinary abilities of self-driving software with the support of human drivers to create the safest possible experience.

What will happen once the car starts moving?

The vehicle’s sensors will do an initial sweep of its surroundings to ensure there are no obstacles before beginning the ride. As the vehicle begins to move, its artificial intelligence will continue to perceive, understand, and adapt to the situations on the road getting you to your destination safely and efficiently.

How will the car sense and react to tricky situations?

Self-driving cars leverage state-of-the-art machine learning to be able to perceive, understand, and adapt to situations in the real world. If at any point the vehicle’s artificial intelligence does not know how to react to a situation, the pilot will take over.

What if the car drives slower or more aggressively than I would like?

Safety and comfort are paramount to the Lyft experience, and if at any point the vehicle is operating in an uncomfortable way, please notify the pilot. This is the first step toward our self-driving future, and we are always looking for your feedback to continue to improve.

How would the car react in case of alarming situations?

If the vehicle is unable to adapt to a situation, the pilot will be there to safely take over.

How much flexibility will I have to change my destination or make other changes?

In this initial phase of the self-driving rollout, self-driving cars will need to have a pre-determined route before they can complete a ride. This means you will need to provide your pickup and destination in the Lyft app ahead of time. If either location needs to change please cancel the ride, free of charge, and request another Lyft.