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Autonomous Cars Hit the Road
Well, they are here. Whether you refer to them as self driving automobiles or autonomous transportation vehicles, all major manufacturers are interested in the next phase of their development. And they are catching on fast. It was a trickle at first. Self parallel parking, lane assist, Blue Tooth communications, etc, all features that are paving the way to the automatic ground transport that requires no human driver. And the biggest selling point seems to be that it will dramatically reduce the number of auto accidents and thereby lower insurance premiums. Seems like a win-win situation all the way around. Will there be problems? Of course. But when the field has been smoothed, problems are overcome with the help of rapidly advancing technology, then the cost for aspects of travel will go down.
Ford was paying attention when GM began touting their Cruise Automation, Evidently they liked what they saw and have joined with Lyft in their effort with GM.
At the same time, Lyft has also opened a new self-driving research facility in Palo Alto, Calif., and plans to recruit new engineering and autonomous vehicle researchers to develop its own autonomous vehicle technology. Lyft must be careful that it does not alienate any of the large group of partners it is trying to bring to the table. Allies like Waymo, one of Googleâs sister companies, which has agreed to work on self-driving technology with Lyft, could eventually become a competitor if Waymo ever decides to create its own ride-hailing network.