CES is all about showcasing the latest and greatest technology, but it’s usually confined to the halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center. This year, Aptiv and Lyft are taking their self-driving car to the streets and bringing the public along for the ride.
Ride-hailing giant Lyft will team up with Aptiv, formerly known as the arm of Delphi concerned with mobility, to give the public rides in a self-driving. Unlike last year, when the car was limited to a single 6.3-mile loop, the cars will take drivers to more than 20 destinations between Jan. 9 and 12.
Using the Lyft app, passengers can request a ride from the Las Vegas Convention Center, where CES is held. After walking through an exhibit explaining the benefits of driverless cars, passengers can hop in the back seat of one and head off to… wherever. Since safety is a priority, there will still be a backup pilot in the driver’s seat, as well as an in-car host sitting shotgun, who will no doubt regale you with tales of self-driving cars as you cruise down Las Vegas Blvd.
Whereas many self-driving cars are littered with lidar pucks and bulky cameras on the roof, Aptiv’s car is mysteriously smooth and free of that stuff. The company claims it has nearly all the tech it needs hidden away under the sheet metal. Better yet, Aptiv believes its system should be scaled for production by next year, beating the estimates of many other developers.
Of course, Aptiv is hardly the only developer that has announced it’s this close to having a self-driving system ready for production. Waymo will run public trials in the Phoenix area this year, but it’s unclear when the Google spinoff will move beyond the pilot stage.