In a bid to trump Uber’s partnership with Mercedes Benz, Lyft has just announced a strategic deal that will put its drivers behind the wheel of a fleet of luxury vehicles. The £19 million investment comes from InMotion, Jaguar Land Rover’s in house mobility organisation and is set to change the future of car ownership and personal mobility. It also promises to give Lyft drivers access to a fleet of high end Jaguars and Land Rovers. Whether that includes the company’s new Range Rover Evoque convertible or the top secret electric SUV remains to be seen.
The self-drive revolution
Ride-hailing services like Lyft and Uber are now positioned right at the cutting edge of the self-drive revolution. Uber have already inked deals with Mercedes Benz, Toyota and Volvo while Lyft have enjoyed a $500 million investment from General Motors and are in partnership with Google’s WayMo self-driving car company.
With the first autonomous vehicles set to hit the roads by 2020, it makes sense for car companies to explore diversification as the landscape for transport begins to shift radically. InMotion is Jaguar Land Rover’s bid to get into the ride-sharing market before personal transportation begins to shift away from car ownership. Lyft will act as a test bed for the luxury car company’s own moves into the smart transportation market.
What lies ahead?
As Lyft continues to capitalise on the dark clouds hanging over rival Uber, the future for self-transportation can only look brighter. With major manufacturers prepared to invest heavily to innovate new products to diversify their income streams, travellers stand to be the real winners. Not only will you be able to grab a ride in a high end car, but the knock on effects for the acceleration of self driving and green tech into the mainstream also promises to be huge. Lyft already has first dibs on the green compact Chevy Colt with its anxiety free range of over 230 miles.
Jaguar Land Rover made their entry in the electric car market with the Jaguar I-PACE, a car billed as the ultimate all-electric SUV while a heavily camouflaged electric Range Rover Sport has been spotted on UK roads. The Jaguar Land Rover/Lyft deal could be the catalyst for propelling luxury autonomous electric vehicles into the mainstream and onto our roads in the very near future.