Lyft boosts its efforts in developing self-driving vehicles

Lyft, the US ride-hailing company, has bought UK technology start-up Blue Vision Labs to boost its efforts in developing self-driving vehicles. The acquisition is the first for Lyft’s autonomous division, which was launched in July 2017. Lyft said yesterday that it will use Blue Vision’s expertise in computer vision to help build maps of the environment surrounding a car… Blue Vision’s 40 person staff will join Lyft and remain based in London, marking the ride-hailing company’s first entrance into the UK. Lyft is already testing autonomous cars on public roads in California and this year opened an office in Munich to work on mapping technology. Blue Vision, which was founded in 2016 by a team from the University of Oxford and Imperial College London and only launched publicly in March of this year, has raised $17 million from investors including Alphabet’s GV, Accel and Horizons Ventures. Lyft is a latecomer to the race to develop a self-driving car and is up against rivals such as Alphabet’s Waymo, which has been working on the technology for nearly a decade. Uber burns more than $500 million a year on its autonomous vehicle project, and traditional carmakers such as General Motors and Ford are also working to develop self-driving cars.

Shannon Bond