General Motors and Lyft have announced a "long-term strategic alliance" to develop and deploy a fleet of autonomous vehicles in the United States.

Under the terms of the deal, GM will invest $500 million into Lyft to support the company's continued growth.  In return, GM will receive a seat on Lyft's board of directors and become a preferred provider of short-term use vehicles to Lyft drivers.

The partnership will also see the two companies jointly-develop a "network of on-demand autonomous vehicles" that will benefit from GM's "deep knowledge" of autonomous technology and Lyft’s "capabilities in providing a broad choice of ride-sharing services."

The companies declined to provide a timeline but Lyft co-founder John Zimmer told BuzzFeed News that he believes a fleet of autonomous vehicles will be available in ten years or less. Zimmer also noted Lyft will continue to "bring positive change to our daily lives" and "build a better future by redefining traditional car ownership.”

For his part, GM President Dan Ammann said “We see the future of personal mobility as connected, seamless and autonomous. With GM and Lyft working together, we believe we can successfully implement this vision more rapidly.”

Gallery: GM & Lyft team up to take on Uber with autonomous vehicles [video]

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