If you happen to be in the metro Phoenix area you will soon have a new option from your Lyft app. You’ll be able to order a car without a driver in it. Lyft is partnering with autonomous tech company Waymo to allow users to request a driverless car as part of a new test program.
The plan is for Waymo to deploy 10 self-driving vehicles which would be available to be requested via the Lyft app. For many, this will be their first ride in an autonomous vehicle. By having the Lyft name attached, it might ease riders fears and concerns about sampling the new driverless technology. Both companies will also collect customer feedback to help improve the experience.
Waymo One Has Been Testing Driverless Cars in Phoenix
Waymo is one of the top self-driving tech brands in the world. Six months ago the company launched Waymo One in the Phoenix metro area to expand testing. The program started with a small select group of riders and expanded to over 1000. Waymo self-driving cars have been seen bringing people to the grocery store, taking kids to school and even dropping off runners at 5ks.
After summoning the driverless cars with the app, GPS helps the vehicle get the rider to their destination. Onboard sensors and software constantly scan the area for things like other cars, pedestrians, road work, traffic lights and stop signs.
Software predicts the movement of other objects based on speed and trajectory. The AI understands that a vehicle will move differently than a pedestrian or cyclist. The Waymo vehicles can see up to three football fields in every direction.
“Waymo and Lyft share a commitment to make our roads safer and transportation more accessible. We’re excited to collaborate with the Lyft team as we build the World’s Most Experienced Driver™, bringing fully self-driving technology to the world to improve road safety and make it easier for people to get around,” Waymo said in a press release.
Lyft and Waymo in the Future?
Waymo equipped cars have logged over ten million autonomous miles across 25 cities while also driving over 7 billion simulated miles. Waymo, which is a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc (Google’s parent company), has been testing driverless cars since 2009.
So far the self-driving cars are only available to Lyft customers in the Phoenix area but there is hope the partnership will expand to other cities. Waymo has recently begun testing their autonomous tech in the California area.