The "long-term strategic alliance" between General Motors and Lyft is starting to bear fruit as The Wall Street Journal is reporting the two companies will begin testing a fleet of autonomous Chevrolet Bolt models within a year.
Citing an unnamed Lyft executive, the paper is reporting the companies will conduct a pilot program in an undisclosed city. A lot of details still have to be worked out but it appears Lyft users in the selected city will be given the option of being picked up by an autonomous car. If the user agrees, the Bolt will automatically to drive to their location, picked them up, and then take them to their destination. Once the trip is completed, the Bolt will drive away to be recharged or to pick up another passenger.
The process sounds relatively simple but regulatory hurdles remain. As a result, the cars will still require a driver but they will only be on hand to intervene if something goes wrong. This is only temporary as the ultimate goal is to create a fully autonomous taxi that doesn't require a driver.
The partnership between GM and Lyft gives the ride-sharing service a huge advantage over Uber which isn't expected to start using autonomous vehicles until later this decade.