General Motors, Lyft enter $500M alliance

General Motors Co. announced it is investing $500 million in ride-sharing company Lyft Inc. GM gets a seat on Lyft’s board as part of the partnership, which could speed the development of on-demand, self-driving cars.
General Motors Co. announced it is investing $500 million in ride-sharing company Lyft Inc. GM gets a seat on Lyft’s board as part of the partnership, which could speed the development of on-demand, self-driving cars. –Paul Sancya / AP

On Monday, General Motors announced it would enter into a long-term partnership with ridesharing service Lyft.

Under the agreement, GM will invest $500 million in Lyft to help it compete with other ridesharing companies, including Uber and Sidecar. GM will also get a seat on Lyft’s board of directors.

Lyft announced that GM’s $500 million investment contributed to half of its $1 billion fundraising efforts. On its blog, the company predicted the partnership with the automaker will “continue Lyft’s leadership in redefining traditional car ownership.’’

“Working with GM, Lyft will continue to unlock new transportation experiences that bring positive change to our daily lives,’’ said Lyft president and co-founder John Zimmer in a statement.

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Under the agreement, the two companies plan to develop a fleet of on-demand self-driving vehicles by tapping into GM’s research into autonomous vehicle technology with Lyft’s ride-sharing service.

Both promised to provide their customers with personalized mobility services and to establish a series of rental hubs in various cities nationwide where Lyft drivers can rent GM vehicles on a short-term basis if they do not own a car.

Both Lyft drivers and customers would gain access to GM’s wide assortment of vehicles and OnStar services, which the companies believe will “create a richer ride-sharing experience for both driver and passenger.’’

“We see the future of mobility as connected, seamless and autonomous,’’ said GM president Dan Ammann in a statement. “With GM and Lyft working together, we believe we can successfully implement this vision more rapidly.’’

The partnership between the automaker and the ridesharing company could be a glimpse into other business ventures forged in an effort to deliver an autonomous vehicle. Ford and Google are expected to announce their own partnership to develop a self-driving car sometime this week at the Consumer Electronics Show.

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