Ford is teaming up with Lyft to boost the number of its self-driving cars on America’s roads.
The two have entered a partnership designed to allow Ford’s vehicles to communicate with the ride-sharing company’s app, said Sherif Marakby, Ford’s vice president for autonomous vehicles and electrification, who worked briefly at Lyft’s rival Uber.
He told Reuters that Ford planned to eventually deploy “thousands” of self-driving cars.
Marakby explained in a blog post: “Think of it this way: Someday, when you open the Lyft app during a period of high demand, Ford and Lyft software will need to be capable of quickly dispatching a self-driving vehicle so that you can get to your destination as quickly and as safely as possible.”
The companies will work together to figure out which cities are best for the self-driving rollout and what kind of infrastructure is needed to make it work, Marakby said.
Ford in April was knocked off its second-place position as America’s most valuable automaker by Tesla, which delivers far fewer vehicles annually but has quickly advanced autonomous-driving technology. Ford’s market cap is $47.4 billion, about $10 billion less than Tesla’s and $11 billion less than General Motors’.