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Something ridiculously neat and totally unplanned happened when we were in Las Vegas! Haylie and I were headed to Mandalay Bay for a little aquarium fun. We grabbed my phone to book a Lyft since we were feeling pretty lazy. We did too much walking the day before. It was Lyfts everywhere we went for the second half of our trip since our legs were beat!
Las Vegas Strip 1 Storms Family 0
While clicking away on the app, I was given an option! I could book a self driving car!!! Of course the adventurous part of me squealed with excitement and was like hell yeah!!! It sounded so futuristic. Like the stuff you see in movies!!! After a 10 minute wait for our Self Driving car to arrive, it was time to find out exactly what all of this Self Driving Lyft stuff was about since it was totally new to me!
Lyft Self-driving Ride Service
I apparently have been living under a rock because Lyft's self-driving cars powered by Aptiv have apparently been picking up passengers around Las Vegas for the past year! The program launched in May 2018 and over 55,000 people have been adventurous enough to book a ride. If you’re a world traveler, this is probably old news, but I figured it’s a share-worthy story since I can’t be the only globetrotter to never hear of this.
The cars are self driving, but arrive with two engineers on board in the front two seats. Lyft is on stage 4 out of 5 when it comes to self-driving testing, so engineers on board are legally required to make sure everything goes smoothly. These two individuals basically take notes about the ride and will even spill all the details on these rides. Basically they are the cars babysitters just Incase anything goes wrong.
One of the engineers even pointed out to me that their self-driving cars average a 4.97 star rating and 92 percent of riders gave feedback that they felt safe during the ride. I will have to agree that I too felt very safe. The cars are very aware of their surroundings that’s for sure.
The entire self/driving car experience took about five minutes since we were only headed to Mandalay Bay which is pretty close to where we started, MGM Grand. Honestly, this makes for a really neat story to tell folks, but the ride felt uneventful. Not going to lie, I had hoped for a car that chatted with us, on its own, and drove us, on its own, the presence of two people in the front with screens took a bit of fun from the ride. For the thrill seeker, that's let down. For the self-driving industry, it's a giant win.
It was still neat to take part in what I expect to be the future of the Taxi industry. We aren’t too far away from self driving cars! So glad I had the chance to experience it at the beginning. Can’t wait to see where Lyft is in a year when we head back to Vegas. You bet I will be checking the app constantly for a Self-driving ride for an updated review. Maybe by then we will be close to stage 5 and zero engineers on board! How neat would that be?!?!
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