Lyft, the second largest ride-hailing service in the U.S., once helped disrupt the taxi industry. Now, the company is working hard to avoid being disrupted itself as self-driving cars turn from sci-fi into reality.
According to Taggart Matthiesen, vice president of product at Lyft’s Autonomous Group, the company has assigned around 400 of its engineers to work on two distinct self-driving initiatives.
One is the “open platform” where Lyft connects passengers with semi-autonomous vehicles created by its partners, including Aptiv in Las Vegas and Alphabet’s Waymo in Chandler, Arizona. The other is Lyft’s effort to create its own self-driving systems, work that it does primarily at Level 5, its sizable lab in an unassuming office park in Palo Alto, Calif.