Argo AI, Lyft and Ford have announced they are working together to commercialise autonomous ride hailing at scale in the US. Ford’s self-driving cars, with safety drivers, will be rolled-out on the Lyft network, as part of a network access agreement, with passenger rides beginning in Miami in 2021 and in Austin, Texas, starting in 2022.

This initial phase will lay the groundwork for scaling operations, as the parties are now working to finalise agreements aiming to deploy at least 1,000 autonomous vehicles on the Lyft network, across multiple markets over the next five years.

In order to support self-driving vehicle at scale, Ford has established a robust presence in Miami, Austin and Washington, DC. This includes operations to support commercial fleets, including fuelling, servicing and cleaning.

Lyft will receive 2.5% of the common equity of Argo AI as part of the licensing and data access agreements to collaborate on the safe commercialisation of autonomous vehicles.

Lyft co-founder and CEO, Logan Green, says, “This collaboration marks the first time all the pieces of the autonomous vehicle puzzle have come together this way. Each company brings the scale, knowledge and capability in their area of expertise that is necessary to make autonomous ride-hailing a business reality.”

Scott Griffith, CEO, Ford Autonomous Vehicles & Mobility Businesses, says, “These three companies share a belief that autonomous vehicles will be a key enabler for a cleaner, safer and more efficient urban mobility landscape. This is the beginning of an important relationship between three dynamic companies ultimately aiming to deliver a trusted, high-quality experience for riders in a multi-city large scale operation over time.”   

Bryan Salesky, founder and CEO, Argo AI, adds, “This collaboration is special because we’re executing on a shared vision for improving the safety, access to and affordability of transportation in our cities. Beyond the link that Lyft provides to the customer, we’ll be able to work together to define where an autonomous service will benefit communities the most and ensure we’re deploying the technology safely.”