GM May Take Its Autonomous Cars Into Public Beta Tests

General Motors autonomous driving team has announced that it may look to open up its internal ride-hailing service to the general public for a very limited amount of people. The company also said that it would invite a hand full of other auto tech developers to come along for the ride. The company hasn’t confirmed exactly when or how this program will be rolled out, but the program currently runs only with employees.

The announcement is probably a response the announcement from Alphabet (Google) that said it had set up a partnership with Lyft to test autonomous riding as it considers making a significant investment in Lyft. What’s interesting is that GM has already put money into Lyft that demonstrates the company’s understanding of what the entire industry is going through. Getting in some real-world tests is what all auto tech companies need and want, especially when it comes to seeing how the technology will work in less structured environments like crowded cities and in adverse climate conditions. Unlike phone apps, auto tech needs significant real-world testing before you can start selling a product that can run people over.