Lyft Opens Facility to Start its Own Self-Driving Tech Unit

Lyft is no longer content to partner with other companies to pursue its self-driving dreams.

The high-tech ride-sharing company recently announced its plans to develop its own autonomous technology for its fleet of vehicles.

LyftThe bold move is a complete turnaround from its previous plans, announced in May, of partnering with companies like Waymo, Alphabet’s self-driving car unit. Lyft also has partnerships with General Motors, Jaguar Land Rover and nuTonomy.

Lyft is opening a facility in Palo Alto, Calif., where “several hundred” engineers will work on the components of self-driving systems.

The company has plans to build an open platform for self-driving vehicles and has said it will maintain its current partnerships. That means Lyft engineers will collaborate with autonomous vehicle experts from the companies it has already teamed up with.

Although no time line was given on when Lyft hoped to have its technology available for use, the company did say its new facility would house several hundred people by the end of 2018.

“We are putting down the accelerator significantly on investment on this,” Lyft chief strategy officer Raj Kapoor was quoted by Reuters.

“You can’t just leave it in the hands of others, especially when you have talent and assets that could actually help. It’s almost an injustice if we don’t do it.”

Lyft recently announced it had reached a new milestone: that of providing more than one million rides per day.

The company currently operates in more than 360 communities, serving roughly 80 percent of the U.S. population.

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