- Lyft CEO David Risher told CNBC the company is not planning to use self-driving cars, but is ready for the technology.
- Risher told CNBC and CNN that Lyft wants to reduce summer travel stress for its users.
- He said Lyft doesn’t need to “dethrone a king” and destroy Uber to be a successful company.
Lyft CEO David Risher said that while the company doesn’t immediately plan to use self-driving cars, it’s preparing itself as the technology advances.
“We’re doing everything we can to make sure we’re ready for autonomous when it comes, and I’m telling you — it’s not going to be tomorrow, but you might be surprised that it comes over the next couple of years a little faster than you think,” Risher told CNBC’s Jim Cramer Friday.
The technology for self-driving cars is expanding every day across the globe, but companies actively using them for rideshare services are still limited to companies like Waymo in San Francisco.
Risher — who became CEO last month — told CNBC the company is not planning to introduce self-driving cars to its services right now, but is keeping an eye on the technology for future use.
Days after Risher took over the top job and Lyft’s co-founders stepped away from the company, he announced the company was laying off 30% of its workforce, about 1,200 of its 4,000 employees.
Risher’s recent interviews coincide with new features announced by Lyft this week, including the ability for passengers to order a ride upon landing at an airport.
The feature — currently available in Los Angeles and Chicago with plans to expand to more locations — uses the app’s knowledge of a given airport and how long it will take the average traveler to collect their luggage and get outside to send a driver at the perfect time so riders and drivers don’t have to wait as long.
The features appear to be competing with similar airport conveniences announced by Uber earlier this year, including photo guides from gates at certain airports directly to pickup areas.
However, Risher told CNBC he doesn’t feel Lyft needs to “dethrone a king” and destroy Uber for his company to succeed, and recently said he feels consumers benefit from the competition between the companies.
“My view is every single person who’s a rider should have both apps on their phone, I really believe that, because sometimes you want a choice,” Risher told CNN on Thursday. “But then we want you to choose Lyft, and the reason we want you to choose Lyft is because we think we can provide a better experience.”