Toyota will acquire Lyft’s self-driving technology unit for $550 million, the companies said, as the Japanese firm steps up its automation ambitions with the newly created Woven Planet division.
The acquisition of Level 5 automation will also provide Toyota access to the U.S. ride-hailing firm’s more than 300 employees of the essentially complete autonomy technology.
This announcement places Woven Planet at the center of the connected and automated driving movement by providing
- Talent – an international team of top-tier engineers, research scientists, and domain experts in mobility services.
- Technology – a robust set of sensing, computing, and software assets, and strategic capabilities in automated driving systems.
- International Footprint – once the acquisition is complete, Woven Planet will have an expanded footprint beyond its Tokyo headquarters, with offices and engineering teams in Palo Alto, CA and London, UK.
In addition to the acquisition of Level 5, Woven Planet and Lyft have signed commercial agreements for utilization of the Lyft system and fleet data to accelerate the safety and commercialization of the automated-driving technology that Woven Planet will develop.
Toyota, which currently offers Level 2 automation with advanced driver assistance technolgy, has other self-driving projects and has been working closely with ride hailing firms.
For Lyft, the deal will allow it to become profitable sooner and takes away the burden and risk of developing a costly technology that has yet to enter the mainstream.
Reference- Toyota Mediaroom, EV Obsession, Economic Times, Money Control