Lyft plans to build hybrid network of self-driving vehicles and drivers, says co-founder

Lyft’s fleet of vehicles will remain largely commandeered by drivers even as the company continues to develop its self-driving capabilities, co-founder and chairman John Zimmer told CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Tuesday.

“What we’re seeing happening is there’s going to be a hybrid network, which means day one, just like what happened with phones, you didn’t have 3G, go to 4G, switch to 5G on separate networks. You still had to be able to make a 3G call while 4G was unavailable,” Zimmer said in an interview on “Mad Money.”

“The same is going to be true with self-driving vehicles. … It’s going to be 5% of the rides. 95% of the time you’re going to rely on a rideshare driver. So this is all going to happen within the Lyft network, and we’re moving to scale with our standalone partners,” he added.

Lyft Autonomous AV partners include Ford Motor and Argo AI, Motional and Waymo. Lyft announced in 2021 that it would launch a driverless robotaxi service in Las Vegas next year through its partnership with Motional.

Zimmer also told Cramer that the ridesharing platform has seen “a 40% improvement in active drivers year-over-year” and productivity has been higher, with Lyft facilitating 20% ​​more rides. per driver compared to the first quarter of 2019.

Soaring gas prices led to a shortage of rideshare drivers earlier in the year, and the Covid pandemic prevented Lyft drivers from riding before that.

Disclosure: Cramer’s Charitable Trust owns shares of Ford.

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