Lyft is starting 2016 off right. The competitor to Uber is celebrating one hell of a fundraising windfall after GM joined the round and poured $500 million into the company. Not a bad New Year’s resolution. Half a billion from GM and a GM rep on the board of the company.
Why? Automakers are more than a little worried about a future where the driver will be a computer. If you can’t beat ‘em, join them. Ford has already partnered with Google in a quest to be the first out of the gate with an autonomous car. Google is also a major investor of Lyft’s chief competitor, Uber.
An on-demand car service worth billions. Yeah, no bubble here folks…
Lyft is thrilled with the news, talking up the possibilities with Buzzfeed:
“We’ll create the operating system of the future where people will be able to order an experience. If, you know, you’re heading with your family to Tahoe, you’ll get to order a specific kind of autonomous experience where you get to enjoy movies on your trip or after work you can get a sports Lyft and watch a Clippers game with friends. Now that we have this partnership we can create these sort of experiences with this network.”
How far have the Lakers sunk? Even a tech company refuses to name drop you.
I’m all for kicking back in a robot car, but call me skeptical. We can’t even build roads under budget. Go in a dip on the interstate and your cell signal drops. What the hell happens to the car in that scenario?
Besides, shouldn’t we be flying around in our cars by now?
The future will probably see us enjoying a driverless car. If I was a betting my man, my money is on Google. I like that Lyft is a plucky upstart, but Google has the cash to burn on the moonshot the driverless car becomes a profitable enterprise.
Still, how cool would it be to grab your phone and order a car to take you on the road trip? I’ll take any commute where I get to kick back and enjoy a movie instead of cursing the traffic. Not saying I don’t hate traffic, but at least I’ll just be a passenger buried in my phone.