For people who depend on Lyft for an income, hearing about self-driving cars can raise some tough questions. Do more self-driving cars mean fewer rides for Lyft drivers? The answer is not intuitive — there will actually be more demand for our current drivers, and we’ll need millions of additional drivers, too.
We know drivers are the foundation of Lyft, and we’re 100% committed to transparency as we roll out self-driving vehicles. To give you clear answers about our self-driving plans, Lyft COO Jon McNeill sat down with our Head of Driver Relations, Laura Copeland, to answer your top questions.
Key Highlights from the Interview
We’re investing much more in resources and people for our drivers than we are for self-driving technology.
All of ridesharing in the U.S. is less than half of 1% of vehicle miles traveled. If we can get that to 50%, and even an extreme of just 5% of those trips were with drivers, we would see millions more rides for our 1.5M current drivers — and still need 5x the number of drivers we have now in order to meet demand.
A key benefit of self-driving technology is that long-term, we can lower costs for passengers across the platform with self-driving rides, while keeping pay fair for drivers.
We expect a hybrid network of drivers, self-driving tech, bikes, scooters, transit and a variety of new rides for drivers in the next 4-5 years, including rides for the elderly, family rides with children, non-emergency medical rides for patients, and a whole host of other new ride types we can’t even think of right now.
Again, we’re committed to keeping you informed with more information as it becomes available.