Stop us if you've heard this one before: A major traditional powerhouse in the automotive marketplace is pairing up with a hot new tech partner to lay the foundation for a self-driving vehicle launch plan. In fact, from Toyota and Uber shaking hands on a collaborative deal to Fiat and Google following suit, there's no shortage of real-world examples of this concept in motion.
However, few business pairings could have quite the impact on the rise of driverless automobiles in North America as the recently announced joint venture between Ford Motor Company and ride-hailing standout Lyft.
As Joseph White of Automotive News reports, these respective industry titans have joined forces in an effort to deploy Ford's forthcoming line of self-driving cars to the Lyft service network by 2021. While the number of vehicles scheduled for commission within this project isn't set in stone just yet, White does note that the initial deployment will include "large numbers" of these autonomous offerings.
Digging a little deeper into the technical side of this story, Ford and Lyft intend to put their heads together by sharing information and research between each company's software design and development teams. From here, the goal is to ensure that Ford's futuristic vehicles are able to properly communicate with Lyft's smartphone apps and digital networks.
It is worth noting that the first batch of vehicles will require human drivers for safety and oversight reasons. However, the end goal of going completely autonomous and revolutionizing the growing transportation-as-a-service (TaaS) industry is definitely still the prime objective of this pairing.
Interested in learning more about this dynamic self-driving duo, including the next steps toward actual autonomous vehicle development collaboration and how the nine percent stake General Motors (GM) owns in Lyft could complicate the situation a bit? Then go ahead and give the link below a click for the full scoop from Joseph White over on Automotive News.