Lyft is beginning work with self-driving start-up Drive.ai to bring its semi-autonomous cars to the San Francisco Bay Area by the end of the year.
The website Recode.net reports that Lyft riders will be able to summon a car that drives itself part of the time. A driver will still be present to take over in situations where the software can’t properly read the terrain or the presence of pedestrians.
While, the report explains, the experience won’t be significantly different to the customer, Lyft and its chief competitor, Uber, have been testing semi-autonomous vehicles in an effort to eventually deploy cars without drivers. Such vehicles could operate nearly continuously, and wouldn’t require the company to split fares with the driver.
It says Drive.ai, which recently raised $50 million and is backed by GGV Capital, is now the fourth autonomous software company Lyft has signed. In addition to Cruise, which is owned by GM, Lyft is also working with Alphabet’s Waymo and the Boston-based startup nuTonomy, which expects to roll out its semi-autonomous cars on the Lyft platform in Boston by the end of the year.