"This collaboration marks the first time all the pieces of the autonomous vehicle puzzle have come together this way," Lyft co-founder and CEO Logan Green said in a statement Wednesday. "Each company brings the scale, knowledge and capability in their area of expertise that is necessary to make autonomous ride-hailing a business reality."
Passenger rides with safety drivers in the autonomous vehicles will begin in Miami this year and in Austin starting in 2022, according to a press release.
Ford and Lyft plan to deploy 1,000 autonomous vehicles for the ridesharing app in multiple cities over the next five years.
"We’re executing on a shared vision for improving the safety, access to and affordability of transportation in our cities," Argo AI founder and CEO Bryan Salesky said. "Beyond the link that Lyft provides to the customer, we’ll be able to work together to define where an autonomous service will benefit communities the most and ensure we’re deploying the technology safely."
Ford is touting a "robust" presence in the two cities and Washington, D.C., including operations supporting commercial fleets' fueling, cleaning and servicing needs, the press release says.
Scott Griffith, CEO of Ford's autonomous vehicles & mobility businesses, said the automaker, Lyft and Argo AI all "share a belief that autonomous vehicles will be a key enabler for a cleaner, safer and more efficient urban mobility landscape."
"This is the beginning of an important relationship between three dynamic companies ultimately ensuring a great experience for customers," he said.
Lyft challenger Uber had also been testing self-driving cars in recent years but sold its autonomous vehicle subsidiary to startup Aurora Technologies in December.