January 4, 2018
At CES 2018, Lyft and Aptiv, a self-driving software company, will offer rides to show attendees in its automated ride hailing service (with a safety driver in the front seat). The goal, say the two companies, is to “accelerate the availability of automated driving platforms for commercial applications,” by operating in a complex environment such as the Las Vegas metro area. Aptiv is a subsidiary of Delphi Automotive, which split into two companies to emphasize its capabilities in self-driving technologies.
Bloomberg reports that Lyft and Uber “see autonomous vehicles as pivotal to their longer-term business prospects.” Lyft, which provides almost 1 million rides per day, plans to streamline how developers and car manufacturers are able to “plug into its network.”
Delphi jumpstarted Aptiv with the $450 million purchase of self-driving startup NuTonomy, which “already counts Lyft among its partners and has previously teamed up with major automakers including Jaguar Land Rover and Peugeot.” Lyft also operates a Palo Alto-based development center, dubbed Level 5, devoted to self-driving vehicles.
CNET adds that the Lyft/Aptiv partnership will drive attendees around Vegas in self-driving BMW 5 series vehicles. Last year, the cars were “limited to a single 6.3-mile loop,” but this year, the vehicles “will take drivers to more than 20 destinations between Jan. 9 and 12.” Attendees will be able to request a ride at the Las Vegas Convention Center, after “walking through an exhibit explaining the benefits of driverless cars.”
In addition to the safety driver, the cars will contain “an in-car host sitting shotgun, who will no doubt regale you with tales of self-driving cars as you cruise down Las Vegas Blvd.”
Aptiv, which says, “nearly all the tech it needs hidden away under the [car’s] sheet metal,” plans to scale for production next year. Waymo also plans to run public trials in Phoenix this year.
For more information on CES 2018 (#CES2018), visit the event’s official website or its Facebook page. The ETCentric community should also be interested in C Space at CES, which examines “disruptive trends and how they are going to change the future of brand marketing and entertainment.”
The ETCentric team will have the latest in new products and trends with live reporting from CES January 9-12.