It won’t be long now before autonomous vehicles are the norm on our highways and roads. And why not? Computers and artificial intelligence systems can react and adapt much faster than humans can and cannot be distracted by browsing dank memes while they drive. While for years self-driving cars seemed like a science fiction-inspired pipe dream alongside the flying car, many of the world’s biggest names in tech are already testing autonomous vehicles on public roads. Google has just pioneered a new form of insurance for its self-driving vehicles, while Uber has already logged hundreds of thousands of miles in its autonomous vehicles. Now, the other big name in ride-sharing, Lyft, has announced it will display its autonomous vehicles at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. What could go wrong?
Most likely, nothing at all. Autonomous vehicle safety and reliability has come a long way in a few short years. Plus, Lyft’s self-driving cars will feature human backup drivers just in case as well as an in-car human host who will help educate riders about Lyft’s autonomous networks. The vehicles will be provided by Aptiv, a UK-based auto technology firm which specializes in advanced safety systems and automated driving. In a press statement, Aptiv President and CEO Kevin Clark says the new exhibition at CES will give convention goers a taste of the future of driving:
This partnership represents a real-life application of scalable, automated driving technology that will have a significant impact on improving safety, emissions and urban congestion challenges. Aptiv’s automated driving platform is the most advanced automated system available and combined with Lyft’s intuitive user app will allow CES attendees to have a true point-to-point self-driving experience. It is an exciting demonstration of the future of mobility at work.
The autonomous Lyft cars will be available at various CES locations between January 9th and 12th. Riders won’t be able to drunkenly berate their robot cars into heading to McD’s for some late night double cheeseburgers, but will instead have to choose from 20 predetermined routes. The autonomous Lyft rides can only be hailed from a few preset locations as well. Still, the exhibition is sure to put Lyft’s self-driving vehicle systems on the map and build some much-needed hype for its autonomous vehicles program.