Lyft is selling its self-driving vehicle division to Woven Planet Holdings, a subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation, for $550 million.
The team from Lyft’s autonomous driving unit, known as Level 5, will join Woven Planet as part of the deal. Additionally, Woven Planet and Lyft have signed commercial agreements for Woven Planet to use Lyft’s system and fleet data to accelerate the safety and commercialization of self-driving vehicles.
“This acquisition assembles a dream team of world-class engineers and scientists to deliver safe mobility technology for the world,” says Woven Planet CEO James Kuffner.
“The Woven Planet team, alongside the team of researchers at Toyota Research Institute, have already established a center of excellence for software development, automated driving, and advanced safety technology within the Toyota Group. I am absolutely thrilled to welcome Level 5’s world-class engineers and experts into our company, which will greatly strengthen our efforts.”
Lyft’s Open Platform team, which focuses on the deployment and scaling of third-party self-driving technology on the Lyft network, will become the new Lyft Autonomous team.
“We are excited about the transformative impact AVs will have on our world as we drive toward a future that is electric, autonomous and shared,” says Lyft co-founder and CEO Logan Green.
“With Lyft Autonomous, we can combine the power of Lyft’s hybrid network, marketplace engine and fleet management capabilities to help our AV partners scale deployment with the highest revenue per mile at the lowest cost per mile. We look forward to continuing to partner with the best autonomous vehicle companies to bring this technology to market.”
The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021.
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Lyft is not the first ride-hail company to sell its driverless car unit in recent months: In December, Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group joined Aurora, a platform that combines software, hardware and data services to operate passenger vehicles.
As part of the deal, Uber invested $400 million into Aurora, and CEO Dara Khosrowshahi joined Aurora’s board of directors.
Previously, in April 2019, Toyota participated in a $1 billion funding round into Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group.
In September 2020, Toyota launched Woven Capital, an $800 million investment fund to support mobility technologies.
Woven Capital and Woven Planet Holdings are part of Woven Planet Group, an expansion of the operations of Toyota Research Institute.