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Lyft commits to going 'all-in' with AWS to support autonomous vehicles push

Ride-sharing app Lyft is on a quest to reposition itself as a multi-modal transport company, and is deepening its use of Amazon's cloud technologies to support its work

US-based ride-sharing service Lyft has made a commitment to expand its use of Amazon’s public cloud services even further to support its push into the self-driving car space.

The firm already relies on Amazon Web Services (AWS) to power the backend systems underpinning its ride-haling platform (which is reportedly used to coordinate more than 50 million journeys a month) as well as the company’s public-facing websites and financial applications.

As such, the firm already makes use of the Amazon DynamoDB database technology to help its drivers optimise their journeys.

This technology – in combination with the Amazon Elastic Container Service Kubernetes and its Lambda serverless offering – has also been used by Lyft to support its adoption of microservices.

It also uses Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) and Amazon Redshift to analyse the data generated by its operations, enabling the firm to hone its services by uncovering patterns in how people use its apps, such as predicting pick-up and drop-off points.

The company is, however, now intent on going deeper into Amazon’s public cloud product portfolio to support the expansion of its business into new areas, whereby users can use its services to hire bikes, scooters and autonomous vehicles.

This work – which will position Lyft as a “multi-modal” ride-hailing company – will see the firm ramp up its use AWS’s database, serverless, machine learning and data analytics offerings, the company confirmed.

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Chris Lambert, chief technology officer at Lyft, said its relationship with AWS has brought a number of benefits to-date, including enabling its technology teams to focus on tasks that deliver value back to the business.

“We built our business on AWS from the very beginning, taking advantage of their extensive compute power, depth and breadth of services, and expertise to develop an effective cloud infrastructure to support our growing business and goal of improving people’s lives with transportation,” said Lambert.

“By operating on AWS, we are able to scale and innovate quickly to provide new features and improvements to our services and deliver exceptional transportation experiences to our growing community of Lyft riders,” he said.

“With AWS, we don’t have to focus on the undifferentiated heavy lifting of managing our infrastructure, and can concentrate instead on developing and improving services with the goal of providing the best transportation experiences for riders and drivers, and take advantage of the opportunity for Lyft to develop best-in-class self-driving technology.”

Mike Clayville, vice-president of worldwide commercial sales at AWS, added: “By choosing to go all-in on AWS, Lyft is able to innovate, get-to-market quickly, scale, and expand globally, as they invent new ways to make transportation safer and more enjoyable for riders.”

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