By: Luc Vincent, EVP Autonomous Driving
It’s an exciting time for our self-driving team here at Level 5. We are driving four times more autonomous miles per quarter than we were just six months ago, which is helping us make significant progress on our technology stack. Needless to say, our global team of ~400 is the driving force behind this incredible momentum, and I’m excited to share a few milestones that reflect our progress:
- Growing our fleet. We started building our next generation autonomous vehicles (AVs) using Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Minivans. The minivan’s size and functionality provide our team with significant flexibility to experiment with the self-driving rideshare experience. Much like our current fleet, these are hybrid vehicles — an important feature for us, and Lyft in general.
- Opening a dedicated testing facility. To help us further accelerate the speed of innovation at Level 5, we are opening a dedicated, structured testing facility in East Palo Alto. The close proximity will allow us to increase the number of tests we run. This flexible and reconfigurable facility will include intersections, merges, traffic lights, and other road configurations. This will complement ongoing testing at the GoMentum facility.
- Expanding Level 5 employee rides. Our autonomy capabilities are rapidly improving: in the last year we have grown our routes 3x and will only continue to expand. These rides are crucial for testing and gathering feedback on our self-driving systems.
In addition to these in-house developments, we are fostering collaborative industry relationships.
- We remain the largest publicly available commercial self-driving program in the country, and have provided over 75,000 rides on our open platform with Aptiv, with a very high customer satisfaction rating.
- We also unveiled our partnership with Waymo in the greater Phoenix region earlier this year. We’re learning a lot about the user experience and making rapid refinements.
- Last month, along with leading OEMs and tech organizations, Lyft became a core member of the Automated Vehicle Safety Consortium. As we mentioned in a previous medium post, this consortium aligns with our mission of prioritizing safety as we deploy self-driving cars, and it will allow industry leaders to align on frameworks for safety, share best practices, and foster cross-sector collaboration.
This momentum will help us accomplish our mission to create the world’s best self-driving experience, and we couldn’t be more excited about the future of autonomous vehicles at Lyft. If you’d like to join us, we’re hiring!