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Lyft Tracking to Double Ridership in 2017

Company adds former Obama adviser Jarrett to board.

by on Aug.02, 2017

Valerie Jarrett, a former adviser to the Obama Administration, has joined the Lyft board of directors.

Lyft has carried more passengers during the first six months of 2017 than in all of 2016, according to new statistics released by the company, which has succeeded in spreading its service to dozens of additional cities in the U.S. and capitalizes on a goody-two-shoes image that has separated it from archrival Uber.

The company noted it has expanded into 360 communities and that 80% of the U.S. population can use the service now.

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Ridership at Uber, the leader in ride-sharing services, continues to dwarf Lyft’s, which recorded 162.5 million customer trips through the end of June. Uber has reported that it has given more than 5 billion rides worldwide since 2010. (more…)

Lyft Establishes Stand-Alone Autonomous Vehicle Unit

Ride-share company expands self-driving car plans.

by on Jul.21, 2017

Luc Vincent, Lyft's autonomous vehicle chief, announced the company's plans to establish a self-driving car unit. (Photo credit: Lyft)

The competition level between ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft just got ratcheted up another notch as Lyft announced plans to establish its own autonomous vehicle arm.

The move just adds to Uber’s ongoing problems that recently culminated in the departure of company founder and now former CEO Travis Kalanick, who was basically forced out by investors last month.

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Lyft, which counts General Motors among its substantive investor base, plans to have a self-driving car team staffed with hundreds of engineers by the end of next year. (more…)

Lyft Inks Autonomous Development Deal with Waymo

Judge issues ruling in Uber/Waymo court battle.

by on May.15, 2017

Waymo and Left are partnering up to help the ride-share company accelerate its goals autonomous vehicle goals.

The intensity of the driverless ride-share competition just ratcheted up a bit more with the new partnership between Lyft and Waymo.

Lyft officials believe the deal will accelerate its vision for transportation while Waymo sadi in a statement said a deal to launch self-driving pilots would accelerate its vision for transportation and said the partnership would let its technology reach “more people, in more places.”

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Neither offered many details of the agreement. Lyft is the second-largest ride-share service in the U.S. behind Uber, which has been developing its own self-driving vehicles while in the midst of a battle over industrial secrets with Waymo. (more…)

GM, Lyft Deploying “Thousands” of Self-Driving Bolts in 2018

The new fleet arrives two years ahead of most other maker's planned ventures.

by on Feb.17, 2017

An autonomous Chevrolet Bolt EV shown running at the GM Tech Center in Warren, Michigan.

General Motors will catapult to the top of the autonomous vehicle class in 2018 when it deploys “thousands” of self-driving EVs with its ride-sharing partner Lyft Inc., according to Reuters.

If it happens, it will be the largest test fleet of fully autonomous vehicles by a major automaker. Currently, Waymo, working in concert with Fiat Chrysler, is testing about 60 self-driving vehicles in four states.

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Most automakers have been pointing to 2020 as the time when they’ll have vehicles ready for autonomous driving tests on America’s roadways. Plans call for Lyft, which GM purchased a stake in last year, to use the self-driving EVs in California and other states, Reuters reported. (more…)

Even Ride-Sharing Battle Takes Unexpected Political Turn

Lyft donates $1 mil to ACLU; Uber takes heat on several fronts.

by on Jan.30, 2017

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick may be in hot water with Trump supporters and opponents after this weekend.

In a surprisingly contentious week in the United States, capped by nationwide protests over the U.S. immigration and travel ban, even business has taken on an unexpectedly political tone. That includes the fast-emerging ride-sharing business.

Uber and its and CEO Travis Kalanick took criticism from some Trump opponents after the ride-sharing company’s founder agreed to serve on the new president’s economic advisory council. But the heat was turned up after some accused the San Francisco company of trying to take advantage of a boycott of New York’s JFK Airport by competing taxi drivers. Chief rival Lyft, meanwhile, is stirring things up among Pres. Trump’s supporters for its weekend donation of $1 million to the American Civil Liberties Union.

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The line between the two companies is not as distinct as it might seem, however. But, if anything, Uber could find itself in hot water with both the president’s critics, as well as his supporters. (more…)

Is That Taxi or Ride-Share Car Safe?

New study warns many taxis, Uber and Lyft vehicles haven’t had recalls repaired.

by on Nov.21, 2016

The safety of ride-sharing companies like Uber or Lyft should not just be measured by problems with the drivers, a new study shows.

Millions of Americans have used one of the new ride-sharing services, such as Lyft and Uber. And that’s expected to grow exponentially in the coming years. In fact, the co-CEO of Lyft has even predicted private car ownership could just about vanish in a decade’s time, especially if self-driving cars make it cheaper and easier to use these services to get around.

But before you hail an Uber or Lyft – or climb into the back seat of a cab, for that matter – you might want to think about safety. A new study warns that a sizable percentage of vehicles used by ride-sharing services and taxis have at least one safety-related recall that hasn’t been repaired.

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“That means consumers are riding in vehicles with issues ranging from the benign to the potentially catastrophic,” according to the report by Cars.com and media company Tegna Inc. (more…)

Lyft Founder Predicts Death of Car Ownership by 2025

Zimmer believes people in large cities will give up having a car.

by on Sep.22, 2016

Lyft co-founder John Zimmer, right, suggests that car ownership could be extinct in large cities by 2025.

The idea or concept of privately owned cars in trucks is headed for history’s scrap heap, according to the co-founder of the ride-sharing service Lyft.

John Zimmer, Lyft’s co-founder, predicted in a blog post this week that private ownership of cars could disappear from some major cities as soon as 2025. He noted that the what it costs to own a car, i.e. fuel, maintenance, insurance, parking, etc., is just more than some folks want to deal with.

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“As a country, we’ve long celebrated cars as symbols of freedom and identity. But for many people — especially millennials — this doesn’t ring true. We see car ownership as a burden,” he wrote, observing that statistics show that for the average American the cost of car ownership runs approximately $9,000. (more…)

Lyft Also Aiming to Go Driverless

Ride-sharing CEO forecasts the “Third Transportation Revolution.”

by on Sep.19, 2016

John Zimmer (r), with Lyft co-founder Logan Green (l) and GM CEO Dan Ammann, who recently took a seat on the service's board.

There’s a revolution coming, and it’s likely to bring major changes to the world of transportation over the next decade, says John Zimmer, president and co-founder of the country’s second-largest ride-sharing service, Lyft.

Like its bigger rival, Uber, San Francisco-based Lyft hopes to move the driver out of the front seat within the next five years, driving down costs and making it cheaper and easier for people to use a ride-sharing service than owning their own car.

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“The good news is we don’t have to keep building our country around car ownership,” Zimmer wrote in a blog post over the weekend. Much the way you can stream music and videos, “you no longer need to own a product to enjoy its benefits,” suggested the 32-year-old entrepreneur. “Eventually we’ll look at owning a car in much the same way.”

(more…)

GM Reportedly Wants to Buy Lyft

Ride service tells automaker to take a hike.

by on Aug.15, 2016

GM CEO Dan Ammann (c), recently took a seat on the Lyft board of directors.

Ride-sharing service Lyft has rejected a takeover bid from General Motors, according to Silicon Valley news site The Information.

The move would have turned the country’s biggest automaker into an even bigger player in the fast-growing field of alternative mobility. GM already holds a 9% stake in Lyft and also owns San Francisco based competitor Sidecar. It has also dipped its toes into the world of car-sharing, as well.

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Neither GM nor Lyft will comment on the report by The Information and a second Silicon Valley news service. But sources reportedly include a “person briefed on the situation,” and comes a year after Lyft went looking for a possible buyer.

(more…)

GM Expands Lyft Drivers’ Rental Program

San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver next cities to get deal.

by on Jul.12, 2016

The Chevrolet Bolt will be part of the new Express Drive program for Lyft drivers, starting this fall.

General Motors’ quest to expand the markets for its vehicles hit another milestone today as it announced it was expanding its Express Drive rental program available to Lyft drivers in California and Colorado.

The company said it will be offering the program, which offers Lyft drivers reduced rates on GM vehicles based on how many passengers they pick up each week. The deals will be offered in San Francisco later this summer while drivers in Los Angeles, California, and Denver, Colorado this fall.

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Participants in the program can choose from a variety of vehicles, including the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV, a pure electric vehicle it has said will have a range of more than 200 miles and is slated to go into production later this year, will be part of the program as well as the 2016 Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. (more…)