Uber has led the ride-sharing charge by expanding rapidly (and often illegally) around the world. The company sees itself as a technology company and has also been developing driverless technology. Lyft has often been in Uber’s shadow, but the company has also enjoyed a meteoric rise. Now, Lyft is taking its own autonomous vehicle development to the next level.
The company has been granted approval to test its self-driving technology on California’s state public roads. California has been among the most open global regions in accepting autonomous vehicle on public roads.
Lyft has recently been added to the California Department of Motor Vehicles. The company has been exploring driverless technology for some time. Earlier in the year, the opened a self-driving technology development center.
The ride-sharing giant has previously said it will develop its own technology and work with partners. Like Uber, it is unlikely Lyft is building its own vehicles to be tested. Considering the company has already been given approval for testing by the DMV, the likely scenario is Lyft will test its system in a vehicle manufactured by a partner automaker.
Numerous companies are permitted to test on California’s public roads. Among them are Mercedes-Benz, Ford, Tesla, and tech companies like Google, Uber, and Waymo.
While Uber has spread quickly to global market, Lyft has been content to grow its position in the United States. However, the company announced earlier this month it will expand to its first foreign market before the end of the year.
Canada will soon get the service, specifically the city of Toronto.
“Our passports are packed and we’re crossing the border,” the company said in a post on its corporate blog.
“We’ve been looking forward to taking our brand of ridesharing international for some time, and we’re super pumped to share this with our close friends up north.”