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Ford (+0.17%) and Lyft are vying to become the next great duo in autonomous driving—think Ernie and Bert, Jordan and Rodman, Trump and Twitter. 

The two will manufacture self-driving vehicles for Lyft’s ride-hailing biz. And it shouldn’t come as a shock. Lyft has been on cruise-control trying to hone this technology. It’s partnered with Waymo and two smaller startups (Drive and NuTonomy), while beginning to develop its own in-house solutions. 

So why all the intermingling? Consider what both parties stand to gain: 

  • As Lyft and Uber head towards profitability, they’ll look to cut drivers out of the equation. That’s why they need partnerships with self-driving tech companies and car manufacturers.
  • The Fords of the world can make the cars, but they don’t have the distribution Lyft and Uber offer. If they want to be the first ones on the road, they need to work arm-in-arm with ride-hailers.

Expect more partnerships to come.

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