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Lyft was wrong on driverless vehicles

Lyft co-founder once predicted in 2021, most rides would be self-driving. That’s really ambitious and maybe COVID-19 got in the way but we are nowhere near that state of things.

In 2016, Lyft co-founder John Zimmer predicted most of the company’s rides would be self-driving within five years, a transformation that would largely eliminate the need for costly drivers.

“I really think in the next two to three years that kind of actual no driver, driverless vehicle will be something you can order pretty easily on the Lyft platform,” he told CNBC last week in Detroit.

Zimmer, 38, said autonomous vehicles, or AVs, will be used in tandem with traditional drivers for the foreseeable future, which is why he is convinced the company is well positioned to grow in both areas.

That cautionary tone marks a shift from six years ago, when Zimmer sent waves across Wall Street and the automotive industry with his prediction that self-driving cars would soon dominate the industry. Some believed at the time the ride-hailing company and others like it — namely, Uber — could eventually eliminate the need for car ownership.

Source: CNBC

It looks like fully-autonomous vehicles are not going to be here any time soon.

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Lyft shuts down in-house rentals

I didn’t see this coming. Lyft Rentals is shutting down less than three years after it opens.

Lyft is shutting down its in-house car rental program

Lyft will stop renting out cars from its own fleet and has laid off around 60 employees, according to The Wall Street JournalAs TechCrunch notes, the layoffs have also been confirmed by the LinkedIn posts of affected workers. The people who lost their jobs, The Journal said, worked in operations and covered 2 percent of the company’s workforce. Back in May, the company reportedly wrote in a staff memo that it’s slowing down hiring due to the economic downturn, but that it didn’t have any layoffs planned. Things have clearly changed since then.

Source: Engadget

Lyft Rentals is one of the more affordable options that I see. I thought they were able to make the unit economics work out.

RIP. They will be missed.


Lyft doing pretty well with Rentals

Little known is Lyft doing consumer rentals much like Hertz. This play differs from Uber which chose to partner with Hertz and Sixt for their rentals.

Lyft Rentals

Currently Lyft Rentals is super conveniently located in Mission. Will be interesting to see how this pans out as a business.

Update: Lyft has shut down their in-house rentals.