Lyft has always liked to set lofty goals for itself and their president, John Zimmer, has established a partnership with nuTonomy to tackle the heart of our transportation problems. Mr. Zimmer is a man of his word who is starting to exercise his ambitious goal of “a majority” of Lyft’s trips being in self-driving cars by 2021. To fully understand how driverless cars will impact our lives user experience and performance data needs to be gathered, a colossal amount of it. This study with nuTonomy will aim to provide vital guidance for road authorities in Boston and generally prepare us for the arrival of connected and autonomous vehicles. They’re a fair few hefty players in the autonomous game, Lyft and nuTonomy face healthy competition with GM’s cruise, Alphabets Waymo and now apples fascinating take on LIDAR. The more data the better in my eyes.
The heart of our transportation problem is that personally-owned vehicles are underutilised. The average car is used around 4% of the time. With ownership of an electric vehicle (today’s price) it takes 10 years or more to recover the car cost premium through fuel savings. Lyft’s vehicles can be used much more efficiently in this sense. To demonstrate this, Lyft vehicles will be utilised over 50% of the time and payback its costs to the user in just a few years through operational savings. Another rather bold John Zimmer prediction is that by 2025 personal car ownership in US cities will be a thing of the past. Weird right? But it makes perfect sense.
This study will set a path forward for road operators, transport authorities and key stakeholders in the industry. The introduction of more efficient mobility options is more than necessary, however, there are still a lot of details to work out. A few issues really, such as, who would own this fleet of driverless vehicles if there are no drivers, what happens to drivers in a post-driver world, and how the worlds governments can slow or speed this process up. Until the technology advances to a point where drivers, steering wheels and even pedals are unnecessary, Lyft will look to operate as a hybrid network. At the point of complete technological and data advancement I think we will see a future where passengers can hail a self-driving car and pay by-the-mile or by a subscription model like Netflix. For a technology that is still in its developing stages, the prognostications from both the tech and car industries are flying fast and free!
In addition, Lyft will purchase renewable energy certificates to offset any emissions from the fuelling of its electric autonomous vehicles. I think Lyft’s dedication to climate goals sprang up because of President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the Paris climate accord. Lyft is paving the way for a clean future and they joined a coalition of businesses and local governments in pledging to abide by the Paris agreement.
Many companies like to espouse values without seriously considering what those values mean, or what they need to do to live up to them each day. We at Hyperion are a company who, like Lyft, take our values very seriously. We’re here to build long term, mutually beneficial, relationships with companies who share our passion for the sector and we have a genuine desire to see the sector fulfil its potential. We love to work with pre-revenue start-ups and have recently been retained by Splyt Technologies to build their UK team. With similar drive and ambition to Lyft… Splyt Technologies connect the e‑hailing industry across the globe through a single backend integration technology. Splyt are building the best technology in the e-hailing world and they need the best people to help them fulfil that vision. Our purpose is to help these wonderful companies find the best people to ensure they achieve the best results for the best possible future for the industry.
Check them out at https://splyt.com/
Delivering an autonomous transportation experience requires a lot of data and user feedback. In order to do that, a lot of parameters need to be analyzed to offer the safe, efficient, and comfortable experience users demand. nuTonomy aims to continue to develop its research through this first public pilot in the United States.