GM and Lyft will start using self-driving electric taxis on public roads 'within a year'

Lyft Ride Car CustomerJustin Sullivan/Getty ImagesA Lyft customer gets into a car.

GM and Lyft will start testing self-driving electric taxis on public roads “within a year,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

This comes after GM recently invested $500 million Lyft, and acquired self-driving car technology company Cruise Automation, in a reported $1 billion deal.

The program will feature electric Chevy Bolts and “real customers,” who will have the chance to opt in or out, but many details haven’t been hashed out, a Lyft executive told the Journal.

“We will want to vet the autonomous tech between Cruise, GM and ourselves and slowly introduce this into markets,” Taggart Matthiesen, Lyft’s product director, told The Journal. The company wants to “ensure that cities would have full understanding of what we are trying to do here.”

News of the rollout largely matches expectations, as GM unveiled the production model of the Chevy Bolt at the Detroit Auto Show in January, and the company has announced the new Bolts will begin rolling off production lines later this year. GM has also been actively developing its self-driving tech for years.

If Lyft wants to compete with the much bigger and better-funded Uber, it will need help. Sidecar, which was once a semipopular alternative to Lyft and Uber, shut down because it wasn’t able to raise as much money or grow as quickly as its competition. Uber, Google, and Tesla are also separately working on driverless cars.

Business Insider has reached out to Lyft and GM for comment.

You can read The Wall Street Journal’s full report here.

Additional reporting by Alyson Shontell and Steven Tweedie.

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