Skip to Content

Lyft Is Testing Driverless Taxis in San Francisco

September 7, 2017

Uber just got some more autonomous competition. Today, Lyft announced that it will be teaming up with self-driving startup to roll out a test fleet of driverless taxis in the San Francisco Bay Area.

As Wired notes, the pair has gone easy on details: there's no suggestion of how the scheme will run or when it will start, other than the fact that some Lyft customers will be offered free autonomous rides in one of a dozen or so Lincoln or Audi vehicles “soon.” It's also not clear how this jibes with an earlier announcement made by Lyft in July, when it said that it was building its own self-driving technology.

Still,'s business model is based on building retrofit kits that turn regular cars into autonomous ones. So the vision at Lyft may be to use the firm's technology to get a kick-start in autonomous ride-sharing while maintaining more control over the vehicles themselves than the self-driving partnerships Lyft has struck with GM and Nutonomy can deliver.

Regardless, the company is playing catch-up, joining a growing list of companies that are already testing autonomous taxis in the U.S. with regular folks. We've reported on Waymo's trial in Phoenix and Uber's effort in Pittsburgh.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

DeepMind’s cofounder: Generative AI is just a phase. What’s next is interactive AI.

“This is a profound moment in the history of technology,” says Mustafa Suleyman.

What to know about this autumn’s covid vaccines

New variants will pose a challenge, but early signs suggest the shots will still boost antibody responses.

Human-plus-AI solutions mitigate security threats

With the right human oversight, emerging technologies like artificial intelligence can help keep business and customer data secure

Next slide, please: A brief history of the corporate presentation

From million-dollar slide shows to Steve Jobs’s introduction of the iPhone, a bit of show business never hurt plain old business.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.