Lyft shifts gear on self-driving car ambitions with creation of engineering division

Lyft shifts gear on self-driving car ambitions with formation of dedicated engineering division

Ride hailing app Lyft has signaled its self-driving car intent with the formation of a new division dedicated solely towards positioning itself in the front seat of autonomous vehicle research.

The firm is said to be aiming to recruit ‘hundreds’ of engineers to staff the California-based venture as the business start-up puts its money where its mouth is.

Marking a significant change of gear from previous statements, where Lyft vowed to leave the development of self-driving systems to others by opening up its ride-hailing service to official partners. Now it seems Lyft is determined to take a front seat, a move which puts it in direct competition with the likes of General Motors and Jaguar Land Rover.

What the decision does not mean however is that Lyft is looking to manufacture its own self-driving cars but will instead pursue a partnership with technology firm Nutonomy, with a view to launching a pilot by the end of the year.

Lyft’s new found ambition perhaps reflects growing confidence drawn from the travails of its far-larger rival, Uber, which has been pursuing its own self-driving car plans but is now enveloped in internal strife.

Lyft recently partnered with Waymo in a bid to accelerate both companies respective self-driving car efforts.

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