Driverless ride-hailing cars to debut at CES 2018

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RIDE-HAILING start-up Lyft, Inc. and self-driving software company Aptiv Plc will show off a fully automated ride-hailing service at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas later this month.

The “point-to-point” ride-hailing system will incorporate Lyft’s app with Aptiv’s automated driving platform, offering rides to attendees of the annual show, the companies said in a statement. Operating in complex areas like the Las Vegas Strip will “accelerate the availability of automated driving platforms for commercial applications,” the companies said.

Lyft and its larger US rival, Uber Technologies, Inc., see autonomous vehicles as pivotal to their longer-term business prospects. Lyft last year announced plans to enable self-driving developers and car makers to plug into its network of nearly 1 million rides per day as it looks to bolster the nascent technology. Meanwhile, Aptiv — formed in December when supplier Delphi Automotive Plc split into two companies — is seeking to capitalize on the changing dynamics of the car sector, where parts makers with expertise in self-driving technology and electrification have become hot commodities.

The former Delphi bought self-driving start-up NuTonomy, Inc. for $450 million in October, speeding up its plans to supply car makers with autonomous vehicle systems.

Apart from forging partnerships, Lyft is opening a self-driving vehicle development facility in Palo Alto, California, called “Level 5,” a nod to the designation of fully autonomous vehicles that don’t require human supervision. The self-driving Vegas rides available during CES will be staffed by a safety driver in the front seat, the companies said. — Bloomberg