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Ford to integrate autonomous cars with Lyft network

Aaron Aupperlee
| Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017, 9:57 a.m.
Argo AI employees work on a self-driving Ford Fusion Hybrid at the company's engineering center in Dearborn, Mich.
Ford
Argo AI employees work on a self-driving Ford Fusion Hybrid at the company's engineering center in Dearborn, Mich.

Ford, which brought the automobile to the masses, and Lyft, which brought fuzzy pink mustaches to ride-sharing, will link up on self-driving car efforts.

Ford announced Wednesday it will work with Lyft to integrate its autonomous cars with Lyft's ride-hailing software and network.

“Think of it this way,” Sherif Marakby, Ford's vice president of autonomous vehicles and electrication, wrote in a post on Medium . “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.

“And that's where our work with Lyft begins.”

Ford has invested $1 billion in Argo AI, a Pittsburgh-based startup, to develop autonomous vehicles. Argo AI announced last week it will base its headquarters in the Strip District .

Lyft announced in July that it would develop self-driving car technology at a research facility in Palo Alto, California. The company also announced an “Open Platform Initiative,” in order to develop self-driving tech alongside traditional automakers like Ford and other technology companies.

“Ford has signed an agreement to place self-driving vehicles on Lyft's first-of-its-kind open platform, which introduces the world's leading autonomous partners to our network of nearly one million rides per day. Our teams will work together on a variety of opportunities to affect positive change through transportation and mobility,” a blog post on Lyft's website read.

The self-driving scene is rife with partnerships between auto makers and tech companies. Uber and Volvo announced a partnership last August. Last week, Uber unveiled its second generation self-driving technology inside a Volvo XC90 .

Delphi is working with BMW. Waymo, the self-driving arm of Alphabet, Google's parent company, has hooked up with Fiat Chrysler. G.M. bought Cruise Automation last year for more than $1 billion.

Ford recently announced a partnership with Domino's to use self-driving technology to deliver pizza.

Aaron Aupperlee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at aaupperlee@tribweb.com, 412-336-8448 or via Twitter @tinynotebook.

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