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Lyft brings back Las Vegas self-driving cars amid social distancing concerns

Posted at 7:35 AM, Nov 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-12 11:34:41-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Lyft is bringing back a unique service to the Las Vegas valley -- self-driving cars.

The fleet was paused earlier this year due to COVID-19, but now it's back with enhanced protective measures.

Officials with Motional, the company that operates the self-driving fleet for Lyft, say research shows about 70% of consumers are reconsidering their transportation options to accommodate for things like social distancing.

The self-driving cars in Las Vegas do still have an operator for now, but officials say it will not be long until they'll be completely self-operating.

"Before the pandemic [self-driving vehicles] meant crash avoidance," said Abe Ghabra, head of U.S. operations at Motional. "Now, it means we limit the risk of exposure to this virus."

As the company relaunches its self-driving fleet, vehicles now include a clear partition between the front and rear seats. Before each shift, the operators must confirm they're not experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.

Passengers are also asked to follow safety guidelines, and masks are required during the ride.

If you want to give the self-driving cars a try, select "self-driving" from the Lyft app.