General Motors and ridesharing company Lyft on Monday announced a new partnership that eventually aims to deploy a fleet of on-demand autonomous vehicles throughout the country.
As part of a $1 billion round of fundraising by the San Francisco company, the Detroit automaker will invest $500 million to help expand Lyft's current ridesharing services.
GM will also immediately become the preferred provider of vehicles for Lyft drivers at selected hubs throughout the U.S., which would enable drivers who don't own vehicles to nonetheless work for Lyft.
In the future, however, the companies hope to roll out self-driving vehicles as part of a ridesharing service.
The agreement bolsters GM's position in the ridesharing market — which is seeing increased activity by conventional automakers — while Lyft would gain an important partner as rival Uber develops its own autonomous vehicles.
"Together we will build a better future by redefining traditional car ownership," said Lyft President John Zimmer.
The deal will also allow the companies to share GM's OnStar services and Lyft's ridesharing and payment software, while GM will gain a seat on Lyft's board.
“We see the future of personal mobility as connected, seamless and autonomous,” said GM President Dan Ammann. “With GM and Lyft working together, we believe we can successfully implement this vision more rapidly.”