Argo AI, Lyft, and Ford are working together to commercialize autonomous ride hailing at scale. The collaboration will see the AI startup, ride-hailing service, and legacy automaker are working together to develop the components of a new autonomous ride hailing service. These include the self-driving technology, vehicle fleet, and transportation network required to support a scalable business, and deliver an exceptional experience for riders.
As part of a network access agreement, Argo AI and Ford will supply AVs and safety drivers to Lyft’s network. Passenger rides in these AVs will begin in Miami later this year and continue in Austin from 2022. As these vehicles are deployed, Lyft users will be able to select one to hail a ride from. This initial deployment phase will lay the groundwork for scaling operations, with the three companies working to finalize agreements to deploy at least 1,000 AVs on the Lyft network across multiple markets over the next five years.
The collaboration is designed to scale autonomous vehicle deployment using market and safety data that helps define where self-driving technology can safely serve consumers. As part of the agreement, Argo AI will use anonymized service and fleet data from Lyft to overcome the challenges faced by other autonomous vehicle companies – focusing on where it can build a sustainable business and validate deployment through localized safety data. In addition, Lyft will receive 2.5% of the common equity of Argo AI as part of the licensing and data access agreements to collaborate on the safe commercialization of autonomous vehicles.
To support the deployment of self-driving vehicles at scale, Ford has established a presence in Miami, Austin, and Washington, D.C. This presence includes operations to support commercial fleets – including fueling, servicing, and cleaning – ultimately ensuring a great experience for customers. Ford has also established relationships with the communities in these areas, working closely with city leaders to provide valuable mobility solutions to meet their unique needs.