Self-driving technology has the potential to increase road safety, as some dramatic video from Tesla and others has shown. However, the dark side of it has made bigger headlines thanks to notorious accidents during autonomous operations in Uber and Tesla vehicles that resulted in fatalities.
As such, Lyft has joined Ford, GM, Toyota and Uber as a core member of the Automated Vehicle Safety Consortium (AVSC), created in April 2019 with the goal of boosting self-driving vehicle safety. Membership in the group will allow Lyft to "align [with industry leaders] on frameworks for safety, share best practices and foster cross-sector collaboration," it wrote in a Medium post.
Lyft hopes that by working with other AVSC members, it will create safety standards that reassure the public, much as airbags and seat belts did. "We believe in self-driving tech because it can save ten million lives a decade globally by reducing drunk driving and avoidable accidents," the company wrote.
Lyft thinks it can make a valuable contribution to the group, thanks to insights gained from the millions of rides per day on its platform. The fact that it will be working with arch-rival Uber is a good sign that self-driving companies are finally willing to cooperate for the common good. "We can't afford to just look at this like a horse race -- with companies working alone, racing to the finish line and rushing out tech," Lyft wrote. "Not when human lives are at risk."