Aptiv, Lyft draw lessons from 100,000 self-driving rides

Lyft Inc. and Aptiv PLC today announced that they have reached a milestone in autonomous driving after providing 100,000 miles in rides to paying passengers in Las Vegas.

“This is a meaningful milestone for Aptiv — and the entire mobility industry — as we deliver on our mission of enabling cities to be safer, greener, and more connected,” wrote Dublin, Ireland-based Aptiv in a blog post.

“This new mode of transportation will empower people to get where they need to go more safely, quickly, and affordably than ever before, without having to own a car,” said San Francisco-based Lyft in reference to so-called robo-taxis.

Aptiv Las Vegas

Local authorities helped Aptiv and Lift offer commercial self-driving car rides. Source: Aptiv

Focusing on self-driving, user experience fundamentals

“Ultimately, three fundamentals still matter: safety, simplicity, and efficiency,” said Lyft. The successful trials in Nevada proved that riders are ready for autonomous vehicles, it added.

Lyft said its app can help passengers find the right ride for any occasion. That positive user experience has helped turn riders into advocates for self-driving cars and recurring customers, according to the company.

Aptiv concurred: “Getting answers to questions like ‘How does this car work?’ or ‘Does it see what I see?’ builds confidence in self-driving rides and encourages passengers to share their experience with friends, family, and co-workers.”

“We continue maintain nearly perfect passenger ratings; 98% have rated their Aptiv and Lyft self-driving ride 5 out of 5 stars,” it said. “For most, this is a first-of-a-kind experience that they are eager to try again.”

Just as app users helped Lyft find a “sweet spot” in terms of how long they were willing to wait for a ride, so too have the autonomous vehicle passengers helped refine the technology and user experience, said the company.

“Once novelty of this new ride type wears off, people still expect the basics: An intuitive user experience, an efficient pick up and drop off, and peace of mind that they are safe,” Lyft said.

Lyft and Aptiv stay in their lanes

The two companies said their collaboration provides a model of how to bring self-driving cars to the transportation ecosystem. The companies also credited partnerships with local governments and transit agencies including Clark County, the city of Las Vegas, and the Regional Transportation Commission.

“When trying a new technology for the first time, people want to turn to a brand they know and trust,” stated Lyft. “Our partnership with Aptiv allows Lyft to take care of our riders and help them experience a new type of ride through the Lyft app, while Aptiv stays focused on their area of expertise — self-driving vehicle technology.”

Aptiv’s Command Center provides its team with real-time data such as vehicle health and diagnostics, ride status, and popular ride times and locations. “As we look forward to advancing our Command Center capabilities, we will continue to uncover new efficiencies in delivering self-driving rides,” said the company.

Both Aptiv and Lyft said they expect to continue their partnership.

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