Self-driving Lyft first ride


– Hey everybody this
is Sean with The Verge. We’re at CES 2018 and I’m
about to do, what else? Ride in a self-driving car. Now self-driving cars,
they’re at CES every year, but this demo is gonna be different. This is not just a self-driving
rider on a parking lot or around a convention center. This is the result of a
partnership between Lyft and a company called Aptiv. What they’re gonna do is actually offer, semi-autonomous car rides
to people here at CES, to one of 20 or more
destinations across the week. So people who are attending
the show can actually sign up and just in the Lyft app, hail a self-driving car, and take it to one of these destinations. And we’re about to get a preview of what that whole experience looks like. (upbeat music) So we just hopped in the car. Tap confirm. It’s showing us our route. – [Man] We’re going to Caesars Palace. – Smooth and simple, yeah we’re
gonna go to Caesars Palace. I didn’t bring any cash with me. (laughs) Oh and I get to start route. I didn’t know that there was
gonna be so much control. Alright. The driver is actually driving right now, because there’s regulations
that say that they can’t do it on private property here. One of the biggest challenges in Las Vegas with self-driving cars is
that it doesn’t have the same kind of lane lines that
most roads have in America. It has these things called box dots, which are little sequences
of dots on the roads that separate the lanes. And that’s a bit of a challenge
for self-driving systems which usually need lane
markers to be able to know where the lanes are, – [Female Voice] Autonomous driving. – There we go! And now we’re in autonomous driving mode, according to the loud
computer voice behind my head. (upbeat music) So it’s going well so far. We stopped beautifully at a red light. And some passengers crossed
in front with no problems, and now we’re going again. It’s very smooth so far. Like many self-driving
demos it’s a little bit, boring if you forget about
the technology in that, that’s a little loud and not boring. It is giving us a lot of
information about what’s going on. Whether it’s here on this screen, in the back seat or in the
screen in the front seat, showing basically that the
car knows what it’s doing. And trying to constantly
prove that the car knows what it’s doing to the
people who are inside of it. The car we’re in is BMW 5 Series, and the tech that’s powering
it is basically all the tech that this company Aptiv has provided. They’ve been working on
self-driving technology in a few different models. This is just the one that they have here. Aptive was a good choice for
Lyft because they’ve been here in different forms over the
last couple of years at CES, doing rides, demo rides,
in self-driving cars. So they have a lot of
data about the challenging environment in Las Vegas. In past experiences usually
you feel some drifting left and right in a lane as
the car tries to sort of keep itself planted in the right position. There is none of that which is good, because that kind of stuff, those little margins of error, can make motion sickness
come up in people, and when you’re Lyft and you’re a company that’s trying to offer rides to people who are going out or back
from a night on a town and you’re wobbling them back and forth, that’s probably a bad idea. Another thing that can really
challenge some of these systems is harsh lighting, especially when there
aren’t solid lane lines. And we got a lot of light and shadow and cars braking in front of us, and it’s reading the scene pretty well. At least to the point
that I’m not noticing the car reading it wrong. Look, this guy actually has
to talk to his taxi driver. Hey! The taxi’s driver
is giving the thumbs up. I don’t think he’s too worried
about self-driving technology taking over his job. – [Female Voice] Lane change checking. – Oh man. – [Female Voice] Changing lane. – It’s amazing how much a car
like this makes you realize, all the terrible and terrifying things that are happening around you. That car that was sort of like hanging off the edge of a curve, is he gonna pull out? He’s not even paying
attention to the road, like that car that just
crossed in front of us. It makes you so much more self-aware, of how much danger we’re constantly near when we’re driving or riding in a car. So that’s it, that completes our ride in a self-driving Lyft. We got to Caesar’s Palace and
back without losing any money, which is a pretty good fee in Las Vegas, also no crashes! For more self-driving cars,
weird, self-flying helicopters, and flying cars and all
that stuff from CES 2018, make sure you go to youtube.com/theverge. Click subscribe and theverge.com/CES. That’s where everything is. Thanks for watching.