Aptiv opened a new facility to show off its self-driving car tech in Las Vegas, where the company operates a sizable fleet of test vehicles. The new facility joins Aptiv centers in Boston, Singapore, and Pittsburgh.
The 130,000-square-foot Las Vegas facility will handle research and development, vehicle operations, and data management, according to an Aptiv press release. Las Vegas is also home to Aptiv's largest test fleet, consisting of 75 modified BMW 5 Series sedans. That includes 30 cars used for giving rides to the public through a partnership with Lyft.
Aptiv claims its autonomous cars currently operate to 1,600 destinations across Clark County, which includes Vegas. The company claims self-driving cars have completed over 25,000 paid rides (passengers are charged the standard Lyft rate) with an average rating of 4.95 out of five stars. Lyft has its own in-house self-driving car program, but so far the ride-hailing company has relied primarily on partnerships to achieve its ambitious automation goals.
Aptiv was originally the automotive supplier Delphi. In 2017, the company rebranded and reorganized to focus on emerging technologies such as autonomous driving. Aptiv owns autonomous-driving startup NuTonomy, which began offering rides in prototype self-driving cars to Singapore residents in 2016. NuTonomy also tests self-driving cars in Boston, and has offered rides in concert with Lyft.
However, Aptiv faces plenty of competition in the race to commercialize autonomous-driving tech. Waymo recently launched a ride-hailing service in Arizona, and Uber is looking to resuscitate its self-driving car program after a fatal crash in the same state. Ford and General Motors are steadily expanding their self-driving car programs, while Toyota will invest $500 million in Uber and collaborate on testing.