Lyft Says Autonomous Technology “Core” to Business, Launches Dedicated Division

Lyft has opened a division within the company that will focus on autonomous driving technology and strategies.

“We at Lyft have shared our plan to help end car ownership in order to usher in a transportation revolution that improves our communities and quality of life,” says Luc Vincent, vice president of engineering at Lyft, who made the announcement online this week. “To do so we need to build an ecosystem that offers a variety of ride types, including both rides with drivers as well as rides from self-driving vehicles.”

Vincent, an ex-Googler who founded Street View, says that self-driving is not a side project for Lyft—it’s “core to our business.”

The division will be housed in a new development facility in Palo Alto, which Lyft has dubbed the Level 5 Engineering Center.

Lyft has visions for “a hybrid network, with rides from both human-driven and self-driving cars,” though Vincent offers no specific timeline to achieve that goal.

“Ultimately, self-driving cars won’t just transform our streets — they’ll change our lives,” says Vincent, citing reduced congestion, less pollution, and fewer accidents as benefits to an autonomous world. “This is what drives us at Lyft — to build a future where shared, self-driving cars make transportation cheaper and more efficient for everyone. It’s a future … where we build our communities and our world around people, not cars.”