GM and Lyft: The Chauffeurs of Community-Minded Cities

A partnership between the two firms will bring self-driving vehicles to the ride-sharing business, what happens to the social dynamics of an urban environment remains to be seen

This week General Motors announced that it will be working with Lyft to create afleet of autonomous vehicles. With $500 million already invested in the ride-sharing company and plans to rent out vehicles to Lyft drivers, GM’s move signifies a changing tide in the automotive industry. But despite the environmental benefits that come with this change, the advent of self-driving cars appears to pose a threat to the social bonds it supposedly forges.

For now, GM will begin renting vehicles to Lyft drivers. GM’s strategic shift to the “big-city business,” away from the traditional model of owning cars and having to find parking for them, fits right into Lyft’s plans for a more “democratic transport” and vision to “reconnect people through transportation and bring communities together”.

Sometime in the future the manufacturer will develop an entirely new fleet of self-driving vehicles for Lyft. Such a system would run more efficiently, allowing for seamless pick-up and drop-off and route optimization for multiple passengers at a time. But is it possible that removing the human element will work against the idea of fostering a collaborative and social community?

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