July 21, 2021

Argo Lyft Ford400x275Lyft, Ford Motor Company and Argo AI have announced that its commercialized autonomous ride hailing services will be deployed by the end of 2021. Initial deployments are scheduled for Miami, Fla., to be followed by Austin, Texas, the companies said in a statement.

“This collaboration marks the first time all the pieces of the autonomous vehicle puzzle have come together this way,” said Logan Green, co-founder and CEO of Lyft. “Each company brings the scale, knowledge and capability in their area of expertise that is necessary to make autonomous ride-hailing a business reality.

The programs will deploy Ford self-driving cars, with safety drivers, on the Lyft network in Miami by the end of this year, followed by Austin in 2022. As vehicles are deployed, Lyft users within the defined service areas will be able to select a Ford self-driving vehicle to hail a ride. The companies said the initial deployment phase will lay the groundwork for scaling operations, as they finalize agreements to deploy at least 1,000 autonomous vehicles on the Lyft network, across multiple markets, over the next five years.

"This collaboration is special because we’re executing on a shared vision for improving the safety, access to and affordability of transportation in our cities,” said Bryan Salesky, founder and CEO of Argo AI. “Beyond the link that Lyft provides to the customer, we’ll be able to work together to define where an autonomous service will benefit communities the most and ensure we’re deploying the technology safely.”

As part of the agreement, Argo will use anonymized service and fleet data from Lyft to “overcome the challenges faced by other autonomous vehicle companies by focusing on where they can build a sustainable business and validate deployment through localized safety data.” The agreement will also give Lyft 2.5% of the common equity of Argo AI as part of the licensing and data access agreements.

Argo and Ford are currently piloting, mapping and preparing for commercial operations of autonomous vehicles in more cities than any other AV collaboration, and this new agreement is a crucial step toward full commercial operations,” said Scott Griffith, CEO of Ford’s autonomous vehicles and mobility business. “These three companies share a belief that autonomous vehicles will be a key enabler for a cleaner, safer and more efficient urban mobility landscape. This is the beginning of an important relationship between three dynamic companies ultimately aiming to deliver a strusted, high-quality experience for riders in a multi-city large scale operation over time.”

Ford said it has established a presence in Miami, Austin, and Washington, DC to support vehicle deployments at scale. This includes operations to support commercial fleets, including fueling, servicing and cleaning. It added it has established community relationships with city leaders to provide mobility solutions to meet their needs.