- Lyft announced last week the opening of a research center for self-driving technology in Palo Alto, CA, as reported by the The New York Times.
- Lyft had already announced that it was working on autonomous vehicle (AV) technology through its Open Platform Initiative, collaborating with automakers and other technology companies.
- According to the Times, although public details are few and far in between, companies like Waymo, Jaguar and General Motors are early partners in making self-driving cars commonplace.
There's one notable firm missing from Lyft's list of partners: Uber. And, while the sometimes-ruthless company hasn't left the best impression in Pittsburgh where it's done AV testing, being among the first companies to put self-driving cars on the road is a big deal, given how disruptive AV tech could be.
It seems like every day there's an announcement about another company or university undertaking AV research. And notably, it's not just ride-hailing companies that are interested. Volvo just debuted a driverless garbage truck and Amazon is reportedly working on AV tech.
It's no wonder, then, that there's a nationwide "race" to become as prepared as possible for driverless vehicles. A bill is moving through the U.S. Congress with bipartisan support that paves the way for self-driving cars to hit the road, signaling broad support for further implementation of self-driving vehicles. Municipalities that haven't begun to plan for driverless cars on their streets might want to buckle down and start strategizing — or get left behind.