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The First GM Vehicles on Lyft's Driverless Platform Will Only Be Semi-Driverless

The rent-without-commitment program with Lyft is only the beginning.

Mike Coppola / Getty Images

During a Senate Commerce hearing on the future of self-driving cars, Mike Abelson, vice president of strategy and global portfolio planning at General Motors, said that the first iteration of the GM-Lyft driverless network will roll out with drivers in the next couple of years.

In other words, Lyft users will be able to hail semi-autonomous GM vehicles in the next few years. The companies intend to gather data on how the semi-autonomous technology operates in order to inform the development of the fully-autonomous technology.

Abelson’s testimony comes just a few short hours after GM and Lyft announced that the companies will soon be rolling out a short-term rental program for which GM will provide a fleet of Chevy Equinoxes. Julia Steyn, GM’s VP of mobility, made a point to mention that this program, which will launch first in Chicago, then in Boston, D.C. and Baltimore, will be the building blocks for the network of on-demand GM vehicles on Lyft’s platform. It’s likely the companies will initially launch the semi-autonomous vehicles through this program.

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