Lyft delivered its 2018 Autonomous Vehicle Research Operation study to the California Department of Motor Vehicles a year earlier.
“Throughout the reporting period, Lyft Inc. did not operate autonomous vehicles on California public highways,” the letter reads. “As a result, Lyft Inc. does not have an autonomous monitoring feature.”
The data for 2019 tells another story. The 19 automated vehicles run in the reporting period from December 2018 to November 2019, have driven in an autonomous mode almost 43,000 miles, according to the data reported earlier this week by the CA DMV.
The report shows Lyft’s efforts to increase the self-driving awareness known as Level 5.
The Authority for Autonomous Testing of Cars, the CA DMV, needs businesses to submit an annual report containing details such as the total powered miles of AVs and the number of vehicles. It also demands that businesses announce “disengagement,” a term that describes the disengagement of a self-driving car each time either by failing or a human safety driver took manual control for safety reasons.
It is still far below existing AV developers like Cruise and Waymo, which stood respectively at 831,000 and 1.45 million autonomous miles. It is only a minute sliver among 36 businesses that operated on public roads in 2019, representing the total autonomous miles.
The cumulative number of self-subsidizing miles driven by Baidu, Cruises, Pony.ai, Waymo, and Zoox grew to over 2.87 million in 2019, largely due to a dramatic increase in public road testing. While the number of research approved firms rose to 60 in 2019, the amount of testing on public roads fell to nearly 58 %. In 2018, nearly 62% of the 48 businesses carrying licenses operated on public roads.
Many companies in California have scaled back public monitoring. Some have moved public assessments away from California; others have withdrawn due to high prices. Others have said that they choose to rely more on modeling.
However, the report shows that Lyft does more than collaborate with self-employed carriers such as Aptiv. In January 2018 in Las Vegas, Lyft and Aptiv launched a robotaxi pilot. Last month, the system placed Aptiv cars in the ride-hailing network of Lyft reached 100,000 journeys. Personal security drivers are always behind the wheel and cars are not driven separately in car parks and hotel lobbying zones.
In July 2017, Lyft’s Level 5 System-an an SAE-automated driving node indicating that all driving is done by the car in every way-was launched. Today in the US, Munich, and Paris, Level 5 has more than 400 staff.
In November 2018, public highway experiments in California began with a pilot program in Palo Alto, offering rides in Palo Alto for Lyft workers. Upon requests, the pilot offered fixed routes, such as between the office in Lyft and Caltrain.