During our childhood, thanks to Hollywood films and science fiction cartoons, we envisioned a future of flying cars. Obviously that one did not pan out as of yet, but in the second tier of future modes of transport, we do have the self driving cars, and it seems that this will become a real possibility very soon.
General Motors, the United States' largest automobile manufacturer, have invested $500 million in the ride hailing service Lyft. The two companies will be working together to develop a service which will allow customers to order self driving cars from their smart phones. It'll be like an automated taxi service, so that you no longer have to put up with rude cab drivers or to force yourself to talk with overly friendly ones.
“We believe that the first large-scale deployment of autonomous vehicles will be in this kind of on-demand, ride-share platform,” says Dan Ammann, President of General Motors.
General Motors, for its part, has already started developing autonomous-car technology in the form of Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid sedans which it plans to unveil in its Detroit technical center next year.
Perhaps these will be the cars used for the app service? Mr. Amman did not disclose any specifics but did say that, “A lot of the work will be centered around integrating capabilities that already exist.”
Despite all this, Lyft still has a lot to catch up on regarding its finances. Their much larger and better-known competitor, Uber, has raised $12 billion in debt and equity, and has secured $2.1 billion to develop its own autonomous-vehicle technology.
Still, this sort of competition will only benefit us consumers as these two giants try to outdo each other in self driving car services for the public.
Though, let us hope that in the near future someone in charge will take flying cars seriously, as well as hover boards--- the real ones!