Uber rival Lyft and self-driving startup nuTonomy have announced on Tuesday a R&D partnership focused on the “end-to-end experience” of riders in autonomous vehicles.
nuTonomy will work on the performance of the self-driving system and how it interacts with the rider, while Lyft will focus on the routing and booking of rides. In a press release, the companies said they want to learn and improve from one another.
The R&D will take place in Boston, where nuTonomy has been testing self-driving vehicles for half a year. NuTonomy is following normal protocol when it comes to self-driving tests, with an engineer in the driver seat to take control if needed.
“By combining forces with Lyft in the U.S., we’ll be positioned to build the best passenger experience for self-driving cars,” said Karl lagnemma, CEO and co-founder of nuTonomy.
“Both companies care immensely about solving urban transportation issues and the future of our cities, and we look forward to working with Lyft as we continue to improve our autonomous vehicle software system.”
Lyft already has GM investment
The firm has already forged partnerships with General Motors and Waymo, two of the leaders in self-driving technology. The ride-sharing app does not have that much self-driving prowess, but it is the second largest ride-sharing platform behind Uber in the U.S., which makes it a valuable partner.
“At Lyft, we imagine a world where car ownership is optional and cities are designed for people instead of cars. Partnering with nuTonomy is an important step towards making this vision a reality,” said Lyft CEO and co-founder, Logan Green.
NuTonomy did not say whether the new partnership would affect the company’s partnership with Grub, a ride-sharing service in South-East Asia. NuTonomy also plans to launch its own shuttle service in Singapore.