Lyft president and co-founder John Zimmer said Tuesday that the company would create a hybrid model of drivers and autonomous vehicles, although the vast majority of rides will still be operated by human drivers.
This comes as the ride-share company continues to develop its autonomous driving capabilities.
"What we see happening is that there will be a hybrid network, meaning on day one, just like what happened with phones, you didn’t have 3G go to 4G go to 5G on separate networks. You still needed to be able to make a 3G call when 4G wasn’t available," Zimmer said during an appearance on CNBC's "Mad Money."
"The same thing’s going to be true with autonomous vehicles. … It’ll do five percent of the trips. 95% of the time you’re going to rely on a ride-share driver," he continued. "So that’s all going to happen within the Lyft network, and we’ll scale up with our autonomous partners."
Lyft Autonomous has partnerships with multiple AV driving technology companies, including Argo AI, Motional and Waymo.
The ride-share company revealed plans last year to launch a driverless robotaxi service in Las Vegas in 2023 through its partnership with Motional. And an autonomous ride-share service in Miami through the Argo AI partnership was launched in December 2021.
Zimmer said Lyft's active drivers have increased by 40% year-over-year. He said the company's productivity has also jumped, as the platform facilitated 20% more rides per driver this year than in the first quarter of 2019.
Earlier this year, a spike in gas prices prompted a shortage of ride-share drivers, forcing the company to add a temporary surcharge for each ride. Drivers were kept from driving prior to the higher gas prices due to the coronavirus pandemic.