In the automotive world, we’re seeing the convergence of three big trends: We’ve got electric cars (and hybrids), we’ve got ride-sharing, and we’ve got self-driving cars. Now, the two biggest names in ride-sharing have unveiled their takes on environmentally-friendly self-driving cars and the results are, well, not exactly elegant.

Of the Lyft side of things, we see a specially equipped version of the Chevy Bolt EV making its way around the streets of San Francisco. As you may or may not recall, General Motors acquired self-driving car startup Cruise Automation not that long ago. You might also remember that GM has $500 million invested in Lyft. Put those together and we get the image above, taken from the Cruise Automation homepage. There, Cruise is saying they are “testing our autonomous technology” with the Bolt in San Fran.

In Uber land, the ride-sharing company announced in a blog post that it’s testing some self-driving tech of its own. They’re using a Ford Fusion hybrid for this purpose and they’re cruising around the Pittsburgh area. The vehicle has been spotted as far back as a year ago, but this is the first formal acknowledgement of such tests.

Lyft vs. Uber: Battle of the Ugly Self-Driving Cars

I think the ride-sharing economy is intriguing and self-driving cars could very well be the wave of the future. One of the problems, as I see it, is that both of these test cars are kind of ugly. They both require a rather substantial rig on the roof in order to monitor and track and surrounding area. The hope, I assume, is that these rigs will get more refined and more compact as the technology gets more mainstream.

I don’t expect Uber and Lyft to have anything like the flashy Mercedes concepts, but if a slick new Tesla can drive and park on its own without a giant contraption on its roof, maybe the future of self-driving Lyfts and Ubers can do the same.


Via Gizmodo and Electrek

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