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Make Some Room, Uber — Lyft Is Going To Make Self-Driving Cars, Too

Lyft's new self-driving car division now joins projects from Uber, Tesla and Waymo.
Posted at 9:05 PM, Jul 21, 2017

In a race against Uber, rideshare competitor Lyft is entering the arena of self-driving cars.

On Friday, the company announced a new self-driving division to develop automated cars — almost a year after Uber debuted its own self-driving vehicles.

Lyft wants to make it clear the division isn't just a "side project." At the time of the announcement, 10 percent of the company's engineers were already working on self-driving efforts, and Lyft is creating a new development facility for their efforts.

Earlier this year, Lyft debuted its open self-driving platform, which analyzes the over 1 million daily Lyft rides and collects data on driving scenarios and traffic. The company's self-driving system will utilize and build upon that platform.

This news comes days after a House subcommittee advanced legislation that eases regulations on self-driving cars. The bill would allow car manufacturers to produce tens of thousands of self-driving cars a year while also creating safety regulations and an advisory council for the industry. 

This is good news not only for Lyft, but Uber, Tesla and Google as well.

Last September, Uber began testing self-driving cars in Pittsburgh, and the program eventually made its way to Arizona and the company's hometown of San Francisco. Tesla and Waymo — which branched off from Google — have been tinkering with vehicle automation for years. 

In light of the rise of self-driving vehicles and rideshare services, Lyft president and founder John Zimmer says that by 2025 "owning a car will go the way of the DVD."