Ride-sharing giant Lyft has an eye on its self-driving taxi development going forward, as the company said Tuesday that it hired Anthony Foxx, former Transportation Secretary under President Barack Obama, as its new chief policy officer.
According to CNN, Foxx is the first former transportation secretary to make the jump to Silicon Valley. Waymo said that he will focus on developing government partnerships and public transportation in cities.
Foxx served as Transportation Secretary from 2013 until 2017. He recently noted that while serving in the position he had less access to real-time information about traffic and transportation than the likes of Google and Waze.
Though Uber has long overshadowed Lyft, especially on the global stage, the company has made a strong push to develop partnerships with major automakers such as Ford in the autonomous arena. Adding Foxx to the team could help strengthen the company’s position with regulators going forward, especially as the rules around self-driving vehicle and ride-shares are set to change in the near future.
For a company that just reached 1 billion rides in just North America, it seems there is still plenty of room to grow. A shift into public transportation would be a landmark move, though Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has said his company is interested in someday running a public bus system, so Lyft isn’t alone in targeting the segment.