Popular ride-hailing service Lyft has announced that General Motors has
donated $500 million in the company. This is the single largest direct
investment by an auto manufacturer into a ride sharing service in the
In addition to this investment, GM will also be supporting Lyft on future
projects, including helping to develop an on-demand network of self-driving
cars, a project that companies like Tesla, Uber, and Google have all poured
enormous resources into in recent years. Furthermore, GM will also work
with the rideshare company to establish several short-term car rental
hubs throughout the country, allowing people who do not own their own
cars to pick up a vehicle and earn money by driving for Lyft.
GM president Daniel Ammann will join the board of the San Francisco-based
company. In an interview, Mr. Ammann said that GM wants to be a part of
the changing transportation business model, anticipating “more changes
in the world of mobility than there have been in the past 50.” According
to Ammann, these changes are seen as a welcome opportunity rather than
a threat to the carmaker’s success.
According to John Zimmer, president of Lyft, the future of autonomous vehicle
technology is a network of shared vehicles rather than individual ownership.
This major investment of funds and collaborative resources reflects just
how much consumer automotive habits have changed in response to changes
in technology over the past ten years. Using other people’s vehicles
for rides through services like Uber or Lyft could potentially lead to
a decline in car ownership.
So far, neither company has given any details on how the network is supposed
to function, nor a specific timeline on when the project is expected to
become publicly available.
Read more on this story online via
The New York Times.