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Uber competitor Lyft gains a powerful ally as it looks to create a fleet of driverless cars

Tuesday, 5 January 2016 | By Dinushi Dias

Lyft has raised another $US1 billion in funding and gained a powerful ally in General Motors in the fight with Uber to gain a fleet of autonomous vehicles.


“Working with GM, Lyft will continue to unlock new transportation experiences that bring positive change to our daily lives,” Lyft president and cofounder John Zimmer says in an announcement by General Motors.


“Together we will build a better future by redefining traditional car ownership.”


General Motors invested half a billion US dollars in Lyft, boosting the ride-sharing company’s position in the battle against Uber and launching into a long-term plan to grow a network of on-demand autonomous cars that can be called on by riders.


Uber has been aggressively investing in auto-vehicle technology to achieve the same vision.


But Uber’s CEO has said it could take up to 15 years before self-driving cars are effectively deployed in the US.


The alliance will see General Motors become the preferred provider of short-term use vehicles for Lyft drivers through US rental hubs, with drivers and customers gaining access to GM’s full portfolio of cars and OnStar services.


Founded in 2012 by Logan Green and John Zimmer, Lyft is now worth $5.5 billion, completing 7 million rides per month in 190 cities.


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