SAN FRANCISCO — While Lyft’s entire business is built on people driving other people, cofounder and president John Zimmer doesn’t believe that ride sharing will disappear, even if drivers may.
Speaking onstage at Fast Company’s Innovation Uncensored, Zimmer reminded us of the core characteristic of his business: people sharing a ride. So if Google’s (or anyone else’s) driverless cars become reality and replace all drivers? Zimmer believes we’ll still want to share rides with other passengers — if nothing else, for the social aspect of it.
“We’ve already heard from people that they’ve met dates” while using the company’s carpooling service, Lyftline, Zimmer said, before he jokingly envisioned roads full of “Tinder pods” — driverless cars transporting couples on dates.
As silly as this might sound, his point is clear: People will want to share rides, both for efficiency (fewer cars on the road, lower prices) and because it’s social.
Lyft is an inherently people-oriented business. Though many passengers use the service as an alternative to taxis, the company’s brand and tagline — “your friend with a car” — emphasize social relationships. It launched its carpooling service, Lyftline, back in August. And Zimmer and cofounder Logan Green cut their entrepreneurial teeth on another ride-sharing company, Zimride.