If you’re attending CES 2018 in Las Vegas next week and for some unbeknownst reason aren’t in a rush to get to your next meeting, Aptiv and Lyft are offering self-driving taxi rides to 20 preprogrammed destinations in Sin City.
Aptiv, which split from automotive supplier Delphi late in 2017, will operate a fleet of eight BMW 5 Series sedans equipped with its automated driving technology in Vegas on January 9-12. Lyft will handle the self-driving taxi dispatching. Aptiv has planned for 20 preprogrammed destinations.
The idea is to show how Aptiv’s autonomous driving system can deal with complicated driving environments. A safety driver will stay behind the wheel during the Vegas rides in case the self-driving taxi encounters a situation it can’t handle. There will also be an “in-car host” to help explain the car’s functions.
During CES 2017, Aptiv and Lyft offered rides on a simple 6.3 mile loop of city streets and highways.
How to hail a self-driving taxi during CES 2018
If you’re looking to hail a ride, you better be patient. Passengers will only be picked up at from the Gold Lot at the Las Vegas Convention Center. And before actually get into the autonomous vehicles, passengers need to sit through a brief lecture about automated driving that Aptiv says will “showcase the positive impact automated cars will have on individual lives and communities.”
If you catch a glimpse of an Aptiv autonomous BMW while in Vegas, perhaps the first thing you’ll notice is it doesn’t have LiDAR sensors or other bulky cameras on the roof. But Aptiv, which
Aptiv’s car is mysteriously smooth and free of that stuff. The company claims it has nearly all the tech it needs hidden away under the sheet metal. Better yet, Aptiv believes its system should be scaled for production by next year,
Delphi acquired autonomous vehicle startup nuTonomy for $450 million in October 2017. At the time of the acquisition, Delphi said the deal will help it commercialize autonomous vehicles in 2019, a year earlier than it had planned. Delphi’s chief technology officer, Glen DeVos, said the initial application for its self-driving cars will be in on-demand passenger and logistics fleets used in pre-mapped areas.
Autonomous vehicles take over CES 2018
Aptiv and Lyft won’t the only self-driving taxis in Vegas during CES. The city of Las Vegas will be operating a fleet of self-driving shuttles developed by Boston transit firm Keolis and French tech company Navya. The shuttle, you might recall, was involved in a minor accident in its first day in operation back in November. Federal authorities are currently investigating the crash.
There will be several other autonomous vehicles companies demoing their systems during CES 2018. Many, however, do so in closed parking lots where they can control every aspect of the experience. This is what makes the Aptiv-Lyft partnership a thing to watch next week.