Your next Lyft driver may be in a GM self-driving car

General Motors and Lyft reportedly plan to test self-driving electric taxis on public roads within a year.

Shara Tibken Former managing editor
Shara Tibken was a managing editor at CNET News, overseeing a team covering tech policy, EU tech, mobile and the digital divide. She previously covered mobile as a senior reporter at CNET and also wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. Shara is a native Midwesterner who still prefers "pop" over "soda."
Shara Tibken
2 min read

One day those awkward conversations with cabbies and Lyft drivers will be a thing of the past. That's because you'll have no driver at all.

Ride-hailing service Lyft and automaker General Motors plan to start testing self-driving Chevrolet Bolt electric taxis on public roads within a year, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. The Bolt goes on sale later this year.

The companies are still working out the details, the WSJ said, but the test would include real customers in an undisclosed city. The passengers will be able to opt in or out of the pilot when using the Lyft app and will be able to contact a GM OnStar assistant for questions or help. A current prototype Lyft app lets passengers tell the car when to go and when they're done with the ride, the Journal said.

Self-driving cars have captured the attention and funding of nearly every traditional automaker and many companies in Silicon Valley, including Lyft rival Uber and electric-car maker Tesla Motors. Google has been a leader in the push with its podlike vehicles now a regular sight on the streets of Mountain View, California. GM invested $500 million in Lyft in January in an effort to develop driverless, on-demand vehicles that take on Google and Uber.

GM said in a statement that it has "nothing specific to announce in relation to potential rollout of vehicles and technologies at this time" but that it "continues to make progress on our previously announced plans related to an integrated on-demand autonomous network with Lyft." Lyft didn't immediately have a comment.

Updated at 1 p.m. PT with comment from GM.