Within the next twelve months, General Motors Co. and Lyft Inc. will start testing a fleet of self-driving electric taxis that will be based on the Chevrolet Bolt.
The initiative closely follows GM’s recent $500 million investment in ride-hailing company Lyft and its $1 billion acquisition of Cruise Automation Inc., a San Francisco-based developer of self-driving vehicle technology.
While details of the program are still in development, a Lyft executive indicated that testing of the autonomous taxis will include customers in an undisclosed city. People who hail a ride from Lyft using the company’s mobile app will have the opportunity to opt in or out of the pilot project.
GM intends to leverage its relationship with Lyft to make it the Bolt’s primary customer.
Launching in late 2016, the Bolt is an electric vehicle touted by GM for its cabin space, back-seat passenger leg room and low operating cost.