Detroit is more than a little worried about the tech-centric future of automobiles, namely the ones that drive themselves. So it’s no surprise that GM is investing $500 million in Lyft to build a network of autonomous cars. Why not just buy the whole company?!
Well, that’s not a crazy idea. GM’s massive new investment in the pink mustache crew shows not only an attempt to get into the car service business but also to find a partner in Silicon Valley that will help them keep up with the rumored collaboration between Ford and Google. (Google is also a major investor in Uber, Lyft’s biggest competitor.) Lyft couldn’t sound more thrilled about about the challenge of reinventing mobility with a blue chip company at its back—and on its board since a GM rep will now take a seat there.
“We’ll create the operating system of the future where people will be able to order an experience,” Lyft co-founder John Zimmer told BuzzFeed. “If, you know, you’re heading with your family to Tahoe, you’ll get to order a specific kind of autonomous experience where you get to enjoy movies on your trip or after work you can get a sports Lyft and watch a Clippers game with friends. Now that we have this partnership we can create these sort of experiences with this network.”
That sounds pretty futuristic! It would also be cool to have a party Lyft playing Interstella 5555 to take you to the club and then a time-for-bed Lyft with Enya music videos to get you home safely But how are you going to make friends with the driver if there isn’t one?
Image via GM