Lyft to open engineering center for self-driving cars

By Auto FOXBusiness

(Reuters)

Lyft said Friday it will open an engineering center in California and create a new unit to work on self-driving vehicles.

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Lyft’s engineering center in Palo Alto, California, will have 200 employees by the end of the year. The latest venture from Lyft, the ride-hailing app, will focus on developing Level 5 autonomous vehicles, or cars that can drive entirely on their own.

The San Francisco-based company also said it aims to build an open self-driving system that allows driverless vehicles from Lyft and its partners to operate on the same network.

Lyft has partnered with multiple automakers and tech firms, including General Motors (GM), Jaguar Land Rover and Waymo, Alphabet’s (GOOGL) driverless car venture. Luc Vincent, Lyft’s vice president of engineering, said creating an open platform will pave the way for a nationwide passenger network of self-driving cars. During the testing phase, Lyft will share its collection of data with partner companies.

Lyft is “uniquely positioned to build technology in collaboration with partners in a way that makes it possible to roll out self-driving cars at scale in the fastest, safest, most efficient way,” Vincent wrote in a blog post announcing the new self-driving unit.

Ten percent of Lyft’s engineers already work on self-driving technology, according to Vincent.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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