LYFT Buys AR Company to help Build Self-Driving Cars

Written by Luis Gutierrez, Podcast Director

Lyft is finally stepping into the self-driving car industry. They’ve acquired Blue Vision Labs, a UK based augmented reality firm that helps cars know and understand their location. The merger will join Lyft level 5 team to contribute to its knowledge. Blue Vision will also be the home base for a London research and development wing.

Blue Vision was found back in 2016 by Oxford and Imperial graduates and stepped into the spotlight last march. Lyft bought them for roughly 72 million dollars with a 30 million bonus for hitting a milestone. The company is only a 40 person team. They use augmented reality with devices as simple as smartphones or cameras. With this equipment, Blue Vision makes 3D maps of entire cities that they cover.

This is Lyft’s first big buyout in the self-driving car world. But it’s unclear if they will further explore a route to buying more companies for this purpose. In a statement said by the companies autonomous driving lead Luc Vincent,

“We are always evaluating build versus buy”

He went on to say.

“Blue Vision Labs is the first company to able to build city-scale 3D maps from cell phone acquired imagery. This is truly amazing tech”

Lyft will also be looking for outside help to help kickstart this project as well. So the first car they’ll be rolling out is Ford, due to their partnership. They will be introducing a Fusion Hybrid test car that will not have a driver. There is no date when it will hit the streets but Lyft says it will come soon. Lyft will also be testing the cars on California public roads. It is better to check if the car has been car clocked before buying it.

As of now, this seems like a smart move for Lyft. Because of their rival company, Uber is currently in hot water.

If it’s not with a CEO making a bad name for themselves, or there own self-driving cars hitting people, or them just breaking laws. These incidents may have led people to switch over to Lyft, so it’ll be interesting to see how effective this will be.