General Motors, one of the leading car manufactures in the United States, announced a partnership with ride-sharing service Lyft. GM is investing 500 million into Lyft, and in return the two companies are looking towards autonomous vehicle and setting up hubs for people to drive even if they don’t own their own vehicle.
Lyft hasn’t hired or started building any software or vehicle with self driving capabilities yet. Their biggest competitor, Uber, has been going solo with their self driving car hopes. They however are valued at $62 billion, compared to Lyft’s new $5.5 billion estimates. The joint venture will give both GM and Lyft expertise in autonomous vehicle, ride sharing markets, and car manufacturing. The companies know self driving cars are the future, but not everyones going to buy one of these self driving cars like they would a traditional vehicle.
The partnership is unique, but comes ahead of the announcement of a Google and Ford partnership at CES. GM has been experimenting with self driving cars, and had hoped to have a fleet of autonomous Chevy Volts roaming their Detroit campus by 2016. GM already owns the OnStar in-vehicle communication service, and has actively advertised 4G LTE equipped cars for well over a year now. GM wants to continue their powerful hold on the United States auto-market, even if the traditional cars are phased out for something safer and more practical.
The partnership between the companies is the first one announced, and could give ride sharing services an upper hand when they’re lobbying to keep their services in different cities. We all know that the automakers have a lot of money along with a lot of power in not only Washington but also in the countries political system. If GM could help solidify the ride sharing markets as a normal they could usher in change for cities, and the way we think about the car. In the near future we won’t own cars but have them drive up and take us to our destination, all without talking to a person.
Tell us in the comments below what you think about GM and Lyft’s massive partnership, and eventual rise of the self driving car.