Lyft is selling its self-driving car division to Toyota’s subsidiary, Woven Planet Holdings, in an acquisition deal for $550 million.
Autonomous driving systems are the automobile industry’s most talked-about topic, and everyone has a close eye on what big is happening in this sphere. As per the latest, Toyota has paid a total of $200 million in cash upfront to Lyft for its level 5 of self-driving division, and the rest $350 million is set to be paid in a period of five years.
The deal is a big plus for the ride-hailing, Lyft. They have reached their targets early than expected by having Toyota bought its self-driving division. 300 staff members of Lyft will keep on working in the self-driving division, but under the supervision of Woven Planet Holdings, moreover, Toyota will keep on using Lyft’s Fleet data and platform for its future ventures for any commercial service it launches.
The deal puts an end to Lyft’s four-year journey of building and deploying its own self-driving cars. The ride-hailing Lyft reportedly was losing more in handling and operating the self-driving division and sold it out to the world’s largest automobile manufacturer in an attempt to stop losing more money.
Lyft’s self-driving platform
Lyft launched its self-driving division level 5 in 2017 and claimed that by 2021 they would operate most of their taxi service using autonomous vehicles. Lyft went on hard with its efforts earlier on and employed hundreds of engineers for its 50,000-square-foot facility in Palo Alto, California. It even purchased Blue Vision, an augmented reality start-up, to accelerate its goals of reaching all autonomous scale services. However, not reaching the desired goals, it was time to sell it for a healthy profit.
Not having reached a complete autonomous scale isn’t limited to Lyft; other companies working on the AV systems and self-driving cars also go through frustrating legalization processes and are far from mass adoption. The entirely autonomous driving system is yet limited to test vehicles, and most of the large-scale autonomous car developers have refused to commit to a timeline for commercialization.
However, Toyota is moving forward with autonomous tech with not revealing much on its developments. The largest automobile manufacturer is investing in different platforms to build and test self-driving systems and plans to incorporate the tech in its future vehicles. It seems like Toyota sees great future potential in the self-driving systems and cars; hence it is gaming up in the field. Some of its recent ventures include investing $400 million in Pony.ai, and it also developed “Chauffeur,” a self-driving software in recent times.
Toyota also conducts various autonomous system tests at closed facilities such as in its closed-course Ottawa lake, Michigan facility. The previous year saw the company rebuild a former car factory in Japan to transform it into a prototype city of the future to test self-driving systems and vehicles.
Learn about Lyft’s self-driving technology in the video below.