Various sources are reporting that Lyft may receive a significant investment from Alphabet. This would certainly be interesting in the autonomous vehicle space, since Lyft currently works with a variety of other autonomous vehicle companies (Alphabet owns Waymo, one such company). Forbes reports that they currently have five such partnerships. Lyft seems to value partnerships and collaboration, so it will be interesting to see what such a large investor does to the equation. I can imagine cancelling the other partnerships or even forming some sort of autonomous-platform consortium, where they settle on some standards for integration.
I’m also not convinced that Lyft would use the investment just to attract new drivers or enter new markets. Historically, automating a task and using technology eventually becomes more efficient than manual labor, and if Lyft is taking the long view, they would be better off investing the $1 billion into developing autonomous vehicle technology rather than burning cash to attract human drivers. Don’t compete head-to-head with Uber over market share for ride-hailing; rather tackle the big problem that will revolutionize the entire transportation industry.