Self-driving taxis are coming sooner than you think

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Source: Lyft

General Motors and Lyft are taking on the leading Silicon Valley companies by testing smart, self-driving taxis within a year, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

Electric-run Chevrolet Bolts will hit public roads in an effort to revolutionize the auto industry. When the project launches, Lyft customers will be able to opt for the smart car or a regular driver.

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The GM-Lyft partnership was announced earlier this year when GM invested $500 million into the Uber competitor. Lyft will be the company's biggest customer of Bolts when the model launches later this year.

Cruise Automation, a $1 billion GM investment, is also being brought on for the smart taxi project. The San Francisco–based company has been working on self-driving cars for two years.

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The initial batch of self-driving cars will include a driver who is ready to intervene, should anything go wrong.

In fact, we may not see a widespread use of self-driving vehicles for more than a decade, automotive industry analyst James Gillette told CNBC.

He said most smart cars will be sold in urban areas like New York and Chicago. He feels driving aids like auto-stop will become more common over the next decade.

However, it will take some time for government regulation to catch up. He also called it an "insurance company nightmare."

Chrysler 2017 Pacifica minivan is unveiled during the press preview of the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan. Fiat-Chrysler are reported to partner with Google on a self-driving mini van.
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Get the full story from The Wall Street Journal here.