Lyft self-driving car

LAS VEGAS — When I had the chance to hail a self-driving Lyft at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show, I jumped at the opportunity.

A car that drives on its own and will ferry me around the Las Vegas strip? “Sure,” I thought.

It sounded a little scary but totally futuristic. Plus, I’d never ridden in a self-driving car before.

So on Wednesday morning, my colleague Kif Leswing and I showed up at a parking lot near the Las Vegas Convention Center to hail a self-driving Lyft ride. Lyft partnered with autonomous vehicle startup Aptiv for the event — Aptiv provided the car and the self-driving technology, while Lyft handled the ride-hailing part.

We had a nice ride around Las Vegas, but it turned out to be one of the least thrilling things I’ve done at CES so far — but that’s a good thing.

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Autonomous car company Aptiv is one of seven companies Lyft partners with.

Jody Kelman, Lyft’s product lead for its self driving platform, described their method as “plug and play”: Companies like Aptiv, Waymo, and Jaguar Land Rover provide the cars, but they use Lyft’s open platform for things like autonomous ride-sharing.

The coolest thing about the cars is how subtly Aptiv added the sensors, called LIDAR.

They’re built right into the car rather than sitting on the roof like a lot of other companies. Those arrows point to a few, but they were others all over the body of the car.

It’s actually so hard to tell it’s a self-driving car that it had to be stamped across the back bumper.

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