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Lyft secures approval to test self-driving cars in California

ABR Staff Writer Published 24 November 2017

Ride-hailing company Lyft has secured approval to start trial of its self-driving vehicles in the US state of California.

The approval allows Lyft to join the likes of companies such as Google’s Waymo, Uber, Apple, Ford and Volkswagen for the development of its own self-driving platform.

Lyft decided to enter the self-driving arena in June and floated a division to develop the required hardware and software for the project.

It is estimated that it would take another year for the company to hire engineers and start the process of developing the first prototype.

In June 2017, Lyft partnered with NuTonomy to use the latter’s autonomous vehicles on its network. Prior to that, Lyft and Waymo struck a deal in March to work on co-development of pilot projects and product development efforts.

In the recent times, Lyft has been upping its game to challenge its rival Uber. In October, Lyft received $1bn round of investment from CapitalG, a growth investment fund under Alphabet, Google’s parent company. This investment had increased the ride-hailing company’s valuation to $11bn.

But, the $11bn valuation of Lyft is far behind Uber, whose recent valuation in July stood at $69bn. Recently, Uber has placed an order with Volvo for about 24,000 vehicles with self-driving capabilities. 


Image: Lyft secures permission for trial self-driving cars in California. Photo: Courtesy of Lyft, Inc.