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September 27, 2017

Could you soon hail a Lyft with a self-driving Ford?

How would you feel about using a self-driving ride sharing service? Plans are well underway to make it a reality.

By Tom Ball

Ford and Lyft are set to collaborate on the design of software that will grant Ford vehicles the ability to communicate with the ride sharing company’s apps.

The partners have outlined a time-frame goal of having a fleet of self-driving Ford vehicles on the Lyft network by 2021.

This announcement marks a substantial stride forward toward a future of automated vehicles, in a densely populated, competitive space. Combining the popular emergence of ride-sharing with self-driving vehicles pinpoints what could be a major future trend.

In a blog post announcement, Lyft said: “Ford has signed an agreement to place self-driving vehicles on Lyft’s first-of-its-kind open platform, which introduces the world’s leading autonomous partners to our network of nearly one million rides per day. Our teams will work together on a variety of opportunities to affect positive change through transportation and mobility.”

Self-driving is a top priority at Ford, with the company representing a top down approach to pursuing the new innovative avenue by replacing the former CEO with the then autonomous driving head.

Sherif Marakby, Ford Vice President, Autonomous Vehicles and Electrification, said: “As we at Ford continue making progress on developing self-driving technology — through our self-driving vehicle and Argo AI’s virtual driver system — we are simultaneously building out the infrastructure and systems necessary to make it easy for people to use our service.

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Ford has been diverse in its approach to self-driving use cases, even recently announcing a partnership with Domino’s with a view to disrupting the pizza delivery processes with automated driving technology.

“Think of it this way: Someday, when you open the Lyft app during a period of high demand, Ford and Lyft software will need to be capable of quickly dispatching a self-driving vehicle so that you can get to your destination as quickly and as safely as possible,” Marakby said.

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