Lyft Matching ‘Round Up and Donate’ Program Donations Made With Apple Pay Throughout August

In May, Lyft launched a "Round Up and Donate" program where riders can opt in to have the app round up their fare to the nearest dollar, and automatically donate the difference to one of a few participating organizations like the Human Rights Campaign and the ACLU.

This week, Lyft announced that it's going to match donations made by riders when they pay for their trips using Apple Pay throughout the month of August. The Apple Pay news comes alongside the announcement of three new donation partners: Girls Who Code, Habitat for Humanity and the World Wildlife Fund (via TechCrunch).

Thousands of passengers have opted in to our Round Up & Donate program, and this month, participants can double their impact when they use Apple Pay.

Every time you ride, we’ll round up your fare to the nearest dollar, and all month long your donation will be matched to the cause you choose.
Users can opt in to Round Up and Donate within the Settings of the Lyft app, and afterwards all of their trips will be automatically rounded up with the difference going to their charity of choice. Since the program launched in May, Lyft said that over 100,000 of its riders have joined in Round Up and Donate, totaling $315,000 donations raised for existing partners.

On its website, Lyft has shared a few steps on how to join the donation program, as well as how to pick Apple Pay as the main payment option for the ride hailing app.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay
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Lyft and Waymo Announce Partnership That Will Bring Autonomous Vehicle Program to Mainstream

After opening up a self-driving car program to the public in Phoenix, Arizona last month, Alphabet-owned Waymo has now officially partnered with ride-hailing app Lyft (via The New York Times). The two will work together in order "to bring autonomous vehicle technology into the mainstream" by launching various pilot projects and helping one another to develop products for the mass market.

Like its rival Uber, Lyft has been looking into autonomous vehicle technology recently, but the company lacked extensive research and development it needed to launch a self-driving car program on a wide scale. Waymo has that tech, but doesn't have the reach of Lyft, which currently operates in approximately 300 cities in the United States. In a statement, Lyft said that the partnership will help forward a "shared vision" that each company has of a self-driving future.


As The New York Times pointed out, it also suggests that Waymo thinks its self-driving-car technology "has moved past the research stage and is ready to be applied commercially."
“Waymo holds today’s best self-driving technology, and collaborating with them will accelerate our shared vision of improving lives with the world’s best transportation,” a Lyft spokeswoman said in a statement.

A Waymo spokesman said, “Lyft’s vision and commitment to improving the way cities move will help Waymo’s self-driving technology reach more people, in more places.”
The specifics of what type of vehicles and products that drivers and riders might see from the collaboration were left unconfirmed, as was a launch window for any related self-driving program. Waymo said that its early, closed test of self-driving cars in Phoenix was a success, which led to the company's decision to expand the test to 600 self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans.

Uber has tested and faced trouble in the autonomous vehicle space in the past, resulting in the removal of its self-driving cars from the roads in California as well as a lawsuit aimed at the company, filed by Waymo. U.S. federal prosecutors are investigating Waymo's claim that former Google employee Anthony Levandowski stole 14,000 confidential files, including data on Waymo's LiDAR system, which the company called "one of the most powerful parts" of its self-driving technology.

Levandowski left Google's self-driving project for Otto, a self-driving trucking company that Uber acquired for more than $680 million last year. U.S. district judge William Alsup partially granted Waymo's bid for an injunction as the case remains ongoing, and could ultimately roadblock any further progress Uber attempts to make in its autonomous vehicle efforts.

Apple is believed to be working on an autonomous driving system as well, with an end-of-2017 deadline for the team to "prove the feasibility" of the tech, so the company can then decide what direction it wants to take in the self-driving market.

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Lyft App Gets Calendar Sync Feature to Select Event Locations As Ride Destinations

Lyft yesterday quietly announced a new calendar integration feature for its popular ride-hailing app, allowing users to sync their calendar to search and select upcoming event locations.

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That's right: When requesting a ride, you no longer have to fumble through multiple apps to find the name or address of wherever it is you need to go. Just sync your calendar once and you're all set.
To activate the feature, when entering a destination, users should select "Add from calendar", then tap "Add" to permit Lyft to see calendar event locations. Once activated, users will see upcoming events and location information automatically appear below the destination field.

Lyft notes that users of Google Calendar must sync the calendar with their phone for the feature to work, and further recommends that users input the venue's full address in the location field when adding an event to their calendar.

In addition, Lyft says a coming update will enable users to store their favorite places in the Lyft app as shortcuts, similar to the Home and Work destinations currently available.

Lyft is a free download for iPhone available on the App Store. [Direct Link]

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Lyft will give you an exact price now, not just an estimate

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Lyft is saying goodbye to estimates. 

Lyft will tell consumers the exact price of their rides with a new feature launching Tuesday. 

The upfront price information will be similar to the locked-in prices users see before they agree to an UberPool or Lyft Line ride. Lyft has provided price estimates for a while, but its new feature will be the first time the app is able to guarantee a price for regular Lyft rides.

Uber began introducing upfront fares for regular Uber rides in July. 

The new fare works similar to traditional taxis in that it will set a definite price on the distance — but time can still be a factor. Lyft noted that if “your ride takes more or less time than expected — the ride total you were quoted will not longer apply.”  Read more…

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