Lyft to challenge Uber with self-driving cars, launching first in Boston

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Bostonian reaction : “There is no satisfaction in flipping off a driverless car.”


Is Lyft in the same position that Uber is in? My understanding is that Uber is betting it all on autonomous cars being viable in the next 5-10 years or else they will run out of funding and die with a whimper. There are other ways that Uber can stay in business, eg- run taxis out of business and raise prices in a monopoly, etc, but this strategy seems to be the most likely and humane way of staying in business.

I don’t know much about Lyft as a company other than it’s just generally hated less than Uber.

It will be fascinating to see how these cars navigate through all the rotaries, deal with being cut off, and having to jackrabbit merge, and how much leeway they will give to Boston’s ubiquitous jaywalkers. This is a town where the right of way is not given, it is taken.


So long as you can flag “I do not want a driverless car” in the Lyft or Uber apps, fine.

Otherwise - no way in hell. Autonomous cars are not safe, they cannot be made safe with current technology and using the existing roadways, and there’s no way I’m allowing my family to ride in one.

I’ll go back to taxis if that’s what it comes to.

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Boston? So - it doesn’t matter if they drive badly. Smart move!


As I just said on Twitter, as a local the only way I can see this being successful with autonomous cars on the streets of Boston, is that the death rate might be high enough to actually make it safe by thinning the population.

Maybe that’s part of their business plan?

Isn’t Fort Point basically A Street?* There’s some offices and apartments there, but not a very interesting drive.

Seaport, on the other hand, has a lot of confusing entrances and exits and on-ramps. It seems like the polar opposite.

*that’s the name of the street. A Street. The next one over is B Street, then C, D, etc, and then all the way down to P St near the beach.

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They obviously need to fight it out in the ring with Transformer-style self-driving cars, the Uberbot vs. the Lyftinator.

Perhaps their theory is “if we can go 6 months without murdering pedestrians/passengers in Boston, we can drive these puppies anywhere.”

I just hope they program them to take directions using Dunkin’ Donuts measurements.

“Ok, Lyft, get me to that Dunkies ovah by the Market Basket. The one where there used to be another Dunkies across the street, you know, where that kid got in a wreck? It was a few years back, you know that one, Lyft? Real nice kid. C’mon, chop chop, let’s get going, I don’t wanna miss the Pats. Yeah, fuck you too, buddy!”


Go ahead, Boston hipsters, jump right in those self-driving meat grinders.

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