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Lyft's strategy head Raj Kapoor. Photo by Flickr/Joi Ito.
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Autonomous Vehicles Asia Uber/Lyft

How Lyft Is Developing Self-Driving Cars

Photo: Lyft's strategy head Raj Kapoor. Photo by Flickr/Joi Ito.

Anyone jumping into the self-driving car field now, eight years after market leader Alphabet’s Waymo began work, has to try some scrappy tactics to have a hope of succeeding. That’s the tack taken by Lyft, the most prominent new entrant to the field, though little has been revealed about its work.

Here are some previously unreported details of its plans. To jumpstart the effort, Lyft is using open-source software developed by Chinese tech giant Baidu and hiring engineers who haven’t worked in the field before, in addition to scouring for possible acquisitions, according to people with knowledge of the effort. It also has a relatively conservative timeline for deploying its own fleet of cars, these people say.

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