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Lyft’s Autonomous Taxis Made Over 50,000 Rides In Las Vegas

Lyft Boasts Success With Autonomous Taxi Service Self-driving Lyft taxis debuted in Las Vegas last year, but the number of autonomous Lyft rides recently reached 50,000. The self-driving cars...

Lyft Boasts Success With Autonomous Taxi Service

Self-driving Lyft taxis debuted in Las Vegas last year, but the number of autonomous Lyft rides recently reached 50,000.

The self-driving cars are provided by the company Aptiv, but charge Lyft passengers normal Lyft rates. A safety operator is present in the vehicle, and users know they are hailing a self-driving cab when they use the app to hail one.

“We believe it’s the largest open-to-the-public, self-driving autonomous vehicle service in the world,” Karl Iagnemma, Aptiv’s president of autonomous mobility, said in an interview with Forbes magazine. “You basically call a vehicle as you would a normal Lyft. If you’re lucky, one of our vehicles comes and picks you up–and chances are that trip is going to be entirely hands-off the wheel.”

(Photo Credit: APTIV PLC)

However, not everyone is hailing the arrival of self-driving vehicles. Lyft’s announcement that they had reached 50,000 self-driving cab rides came the same week Uber and Lyft drivers are striking in California. Lyft drivers are protesting low pay, lack of benefits, and dangerous working conditions–which can include threats to their physical safety.

The California Assembly recently passed a bill, Assembly Bill 5, to determine when a worker can be considered an independent contractor and not an employee of a company. Lyft drivers’ status as independent contractors leads to lower pay and no benefits, said Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, who wrote the bill.

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