Lyft on Monday released a report called the Voluntary Safety Self-Assessment, which aims to gain insight into how the ride-sharing company is adopting potentially revolutionary technologies such as self-driving cars. Lyft says safety will only be achieved if passengers truly trust the technology. Even before users step into the self-driving cars of the future, the company says, it will strive to gain confidence in its future self-driving car technology through pre-vehicle and in-app education, and that future users will receive 24/7 support around the technology.
Previous research has shown that Lyft and many other companies still have a long way to go before they can gain any form of recognition. In JD Power’s latest survey of self-driving cars, Americans’ confidence actually declines year by year. In another survey from auto automation education partners, three-quarters of Americans said the technology was not ready for prime time. Education is certainly an important part of people’s acceptance of self-driving cars, but the truth is that self-driving cars that are not ready to sell today will not be available tomorrow.
Lyft also stressed that it continues to use a human operator and a human co-pilot to operate all self-driving car tests to maintain safety first. A few years ago, Uber’s self-driving car killed a pedestrian and tested for testing. The human operator did not pay attention to the road conditions at the time, nor did the company have a co-pilot in the vehicle. In response, Lyft said it would continue to test conservatively, with closed tests and simulations part of its plan. The company has joined a number of other competitors in a battle for future profit-making markets. Waymo, General Motors, Ford, Toyota and numerous startups are continuing to test their self-driving technology.