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Lyft, GM Forge $500M Partnership Toward Self-Driving Cars

In the future, the Lyft car that picks you up could be empty, thanks to a $500 million investment from GM.

In the future, the Lyft car that picks you up could have an empty driver's seat, thanks to a $500 million investment from GM.

The "long-term strategic alliance" between the two companies was announced on Monday, with a particular focus on self-driving cars.

Currently, the Lyft app alerts drivers when a passenger requests a ride. But Lyft, along with Google, Uber, Tesla and other companies, is interested in autonomous vehicles that could navigate roads without someone behind the wheel.

"We see the future of personal mobility as connected, seamless and autonomous," GM President Dan Ammann said in a statement. "With GM and Lyft working together, we believe we can successfully implement this vision more rapidly."

Related: Can L.A. Kill Traffic With Self-Driving Cars?

Not all of the $500 million will go toward researching an "autonomous on-demand network." Some of that money will also used to create rental hubs where Lyft drivers can rent cars short-term across the country, as well as integrate GM's cars and OnStar service with Lyft's software.

GM will hold a seat on Lyft's board of directors as part of the deal. Uber has also taken steps toward developing self-driving cars, including forming a partnership with Carnegie Mellon University.