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Ford &amp; Domino’s Pizza

Domino’s Pizza and Ford launched an industry-first collaboration to understand the role that self-driving vehicles can play in pizza delivery.

Ford Motor Co. formed a partnership with Lyft that will result in the automaker leveraging the ride-hailing service’s “open platform” to test self-driving car technology, the latest in a string of high-profile auto and tech companies with plans to do so.

Sherif Marakby, Ford’s vice president for autonomous and electric vehicles, said in a blog post that the goal of its cooperation with San Francisco-based Lyft is to accelerate “efforts to build a profitable and viable self-driving vehicle business.”

“Lyft has a network of customers, growing demand for rides and strong knowledge of transportation flow within cities,” Marakby wrote. “We have experience with autonomous vehicle technology development and large-scale manufacturing. Both companies have fleet management and big data experience. With our combined capabilities, we believe we can effectively share information to help make the best decisions for the future.”

Ford’s announcement didn’t specify when it would deploy test vehicles to&nbsp;pick up riders on the Lyft network. The automotive giant has said it&nbsp;will operate&nbsp;driverless cars in an on-demand ride service and as delivery vehicles by 2021. Ford began a pilot program with Domino’s Pizza in Ann Arbor, Michigan, last month, deploying a sensor-laded autonomous&nbsp;Fusion sedan to deliver pizzas.

In its&nbsp;blog post, Lyft said teams from both companies “would work together on a variety of opportunities to affect positive change through transportation and mobility.” Like Ford, it also provided no specifics.

Lyft has quickly transformed into a de facto partner for testing robotic vehicle technology. Prior to Ford, companies intending to work with Lyft include General Motors’ Cruise, Jaguar Land Rover, Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo, nuTonomy and Drive.ai. Ford rival General Motors is also a key investor in Lyft.

Its&nbsp;approach to autonomous vehicles has differed notably from that of larger&nbsp;rival Uber, which spent lavishly on the technology, including its&nbsp;$680 million purchase&nbsp;of driverless truck tech startup Otto in 2016. Under former CEO Travis Kalanick,&nbsp;Uber was obsessed with&nbsp;creating&nbsp;a driverless vehicle program to challenge&nbsp;Waymo, the spinoff formed from Google’s self-driving car program.

Lyft hasn’t revealed the budget for its program but is&nbsp;adding a tech center&nbsp;in Palo Alto where engineers will work to design its own mapping, sensing and guidance technologies for autonomous vehicles. The company’s&nbsp;“Level 5 Engineering Center” will&nbsp;employ several hundred engineers and technicians when completed in 2018. Lyft&nbsp;has said it wants to work with the best technology available to&nbsp;give its users access to&nbsp;autonomous vehicles as quickly as possible.

Taggart Matthiesen, Lyft’s senior director of product, told Forbes last month that the timing of its many pilot programs with auto and tech companies was still being worked out.

“The initial pilots are geographically separate,” he said in an August interview, without elaborating. Given Lyft’s interest in working with multiple developers of self-driving tech, the company’s platform may soon boast access to the largest accumulation of such vehicles. “Aspirationally, that’s where we’re going.”

Lyft

Lyft is doubling down on its efforts to get self-driving cars on the road by creating an open platform to work with makers of the technology, while also starting its own development efforts.

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Ford & Domino’s Pizza

Domino’s Pizza and Ford launched an industry-first collaboration to understand the role that self-driving vehicles can play in pizza delivery.

Ford Motor Co. formed a partnership with Lyft that will result in the automaker leveraging the ride-hailing service’s “open platform” to test self-driving car technology, the latest in a string of high-profile auto and tech companies with plans to do so.

Sherif Marakby, Ford’s vice president for autonomous and electric vehicles, said in a blog post that the goal of its cooperation with San Francisco-based Lyft is to accelerate “efforts to build a profitable and viable self-driving vehicle business.”

“Lyft has a network of customers, growing demand for rides and strong knowledge of transportation flow within cities,” Marakby wrote. “We have experience with autonomous vehicle technology development and large-scale manufacturing. Both companies have fleet management and big data experience. With our combined capabilities, we believe we can effectively share information to help make the best decisions for the future.”

Ford’s announcement didn’t specify when it would deploy test vehicles to pick up riders on the Lyft network. The automotive giant has said it will operate driverless cars in an on-demand ride service and as delivery vehicles by 2021. Ford began a pilot program with Domino’s Pizza in Ann Arbor, Michigan, last month, deploying a sensor-laded autonomous Fusion sedan to deliver pizzas.

In its blog post, Lyft said teams from both companies “would work together on a variety of opportunities to affect positive change through transportation and mobility.” Like Ford, it also provided no specifics.

Lyft has quickly transformed into a de facto partner for testing robotic vehicle technology. Prior to Ford, companies intending to work with Lyft include General Motors’ Cruise, Jaguar Land Rover, Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo, nuTonomy and Drive.ai. Ford rival General Motors is also a key investor in Lyft.

Its approach to autonomous vehicles has differed notably from that of larger rival Uber, which spent lavishly on the technology, including its $680 million purchase of driverless truck tech startup Otto in 2016. Under former CEO Travis Kalanick, Uber was obsessed with creating a driverless vehicle program to challenge Waymo, the spinoff formed from Google’s self-driving car program.

Lyft hasn’t revealed the budget for its program but is adding a tech center in Palo Alto where engineers will work to design its own mapping, sensing and guidance technologies for autonomous vehicles. The company’s “Level 5 Engineering Center” will employ several hundred engineers and technicians when completed in 2018. Lyft has said it wants to work with the best technology available to give its users access to autonomous vehicles as quickly as possible.

Taggart Matthiesen, Lyft’s senior director of product, told Forbes last month that the timing of its many pilot programs with auto and tech companies was still being worked out.

“The initial pilots are geographically separate,” he said in an August interview, without elaborating. Given Lyft’s interest in working with multiple developers of self-driving tech, the company’s platform may soon boast access to the largest accumulation of such vehicles. “Aspirationally, that’s where we’re going.”

Lyft

Lyft is doubling down on its efforts to get self-driving cars on the road by creating an open platform to work with makers of the technology, while also starting its own development efforts.

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