Ride-hailing company Lyft is collaborating with autonomous vehicle technology firm nuTonomy to optimize passenger experience in self-driving cars.
Under the partnership, the two companies will align their technology platforms to collect data for research and insights into the various aspects of passenger comfort and safety during a ride in an autonomous vehicle.
It will include each and every aspect ranging from routing and booking to the performance of the driving system and how it interacts and communicates with the rider.
The collaborative research is expected to be carried out in Boston, Massachusetts.
At Boston’s Raymond L. Flynn Marine Park and the adjacent Seaport and Fort Point neighbourhoods, nuTonomy has been testing its autonomous vehicles since the beginning of the year.
An engineer will always present inside the vehicle to monitor the performance and to assume the control, if needed.
nuTonomy has also been integrating the knowledge and the experience its vehicles gain from the road tests being conducted in Singapore’s one-north business district since last August.
By 2018, the company plans to launch an on-demand service with autonomous vehicles in Singapore.
The initial phase of the partnership is expected to yield additional learning and data about the ideal function, performance and features of an on-demand service of self-driving vehicles, which could be deployed in cities to tackle the challenge of urban driving.
nuTonomy CEO and co-founder Karl lagnemma said: “By combining forces with Lyft in the U.S., we’ll be positioned to build the best passenger experience for self-driving cars. 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 CEO and co-founder Logan Green said: “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.
“The nuTonomy team is one of the first movers in autonomous vehicle development, and we look forward to working with them to bring their autonomous vehicles to the Lyft network.”
In May, nuTonomy also signed a partnership agreement with French automaker Groupe PSA to test fully autonomous vehicles in Singapore.
nuTonomy is integrating its software system into customized PEUGEOT 3008s for on-road testing of fully autonomous cars in Singapore.
Image: Lyft partners with nuTonomy on the development of self-driving vehicles. Photo: Courtesy of nuTonomy.