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Starting in 2022, if you find yourself in Austin, you will be able to hail a driverless Lyft Ford vehicle. The robotaxi vehicles are backed by Ford and Volkswagen’s autonomous vehicle startup Argo AI.

For years, Ford promised that it would launch a full-scale autonomous vehicle business, including robotaxis and driverless delivery, by 2021. That later got pushed to 2022, with the automaker citing delays due to the coronavirus pandemic. It also said it would use a purpose-built autonomous vehicle without a steering wheel or pedals to power its commercial ambitions, which it has yet to reveal.

 

The deal with Lyft is the first sign that Ford is still trying to make good on its initial promises. It will be the first time that Ford or Argo have invited members of the general public to go for a ride in their autonomous vehicles.

Argo along with Ford and Lyft plan to collect data from their test runs in Miami and Austin to develop a robotaxi business.

Argo will use anonymized service and fleet data from Lyft that will enable Argo to overcome the challenges faced by other autonomous vehicle companies by focusing on where they can build a sustainable business and can validate deployment through localized safety data.

This all seems cool and maybe the future, but I wonder if Austin and Miami are good choices to test their autonomous vehicles. We all know Austin and Miami are known as party towns with a lot of young people. I would have thought they would pick a city more tranquil. Such as say San Angelo, Texas?

I can foresee a couple of problems with the late night bar crowd in these big cities. For one, who cleans up the car when people throw up in these autonomous vehicles? What about drunk hookups happening since the passengers know there is no actual person driving the car?

So, San Angelo, what do you think of the autonomous Lyft vehicles? Do you think they would be safe? Would you get in one of these vehicles if they tested them here? And if so, would you behave? 😊 Tell us on Facebook or chat with us on our station app.

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