General Motors announced this morning a new alliance with ride-sharing company Lyft to develop an on-demand network of autonomous vehicles. GM has also invested $500 Million into Lyft as part of a round of a $1 billion round of fund-raising - one of the largest investments GM has made into a company.
Lyft is a ride-sharing company that connects passengers who need a ride with those who have a car via an app. The app also automates payments to drivers.
The goal of two companies is to build out a network of hubs around the U.S. where people can summon an autonomous vehicle via Lyft's app. The partnership with GM could give Lyft over its competitor Uber, which is also developing a network of autonomous vehicles.
In the short term, the two are planning on opening a number of hubs that Lyft drivers can rent GM vehicles. This gives GM a leg up against the likes of Diamler and Ford who are developing their own ride-sharing services. GM will also have a seat on Lyft's board of directors and access to Lyft's app.
“We see the future of personal mobility as connected, seamless and autonomous. With GM and Lyft working together, we believe we can successfully implement this vision more rapidly,” said GM President Dan Ammann in a statement.
Speaking with the Associated Press, Ammann and Lyft Co-Founder and President John Zimmer said the two companies started having serious discussions about three months ago. Both see massive changes coming in the model of car ownership and have similar visions on how to deal with it.
Source: The Detroit News, GM
Press Release is on Page 2
GM and Lyft to Shape the Future of Mobility
SAN FRANCISCO – General Motors and Lyft today announced a long-term strategic alliance to create an integrated network of on-demand autonomous vehicles in the U.S.
GM will invest $500 million in Lyft to help the company continue the rapid growth of its successful ridesharing service. In addition, GM will hold a seat on the company’s board of directors.
“We see the future of personal mobility as connected, seamless and autonomous,” said GM President Dan Ammann. “With GM and Lyft working together, we believe we can successfully implement this vision more rapidly.”
John Zimmer, president and co-founder of Lyft, said: “Working with GM, Lyft will continue to unlock new transportation experiences that bring positive change to our daily lives. Together we will build a better future by redefining traditional car ownership.”
Key elements of the GM and Lyft alliance include:
Autonomous On-Demand Network: The joint development of a network of on-demand autonomous vehicles will leverage GM’s deep knowledge of autonomous technology and Lyft’s capabilities in providing a broad choice of ride-sharing services.
Rental Hub: Beginning immediately, GM will become a preferred provider of short-term use vehicles to Lyft drivers through rental hubs in various cities in the U.S.
Connectivity: Lyft drivers and customers will have access to GM’s wide portfolio of cars and OnStar services, leveraging two decades of experience in connectivity. This will create a richer ride-sharing experience for both driver and passenger.
Joint Mobility Offerings: GM and Lyft will also provide each other’s customers with personalized mobility services and experiences through their respective channels.