Toyota puts $ 550 million on the table for Level 5, Lyft’s division dedicated to self-driving cars. This allows Lyft to cut costs considerably.
Lyft, like Uber, is an app for booking car journeys. After Uber sold its self-driving division to start-up Aurora in December, Lyft is now doing the same to Toyota.
At Toyota, Level 5 enters a new division called Woven Planet. The company is also taking over 300 employees and now has a division in San Francisco and London. Toyota itself indicates that the product and the people are essential when it comes to adopting the technology.
Toyota wants to accelerate the automation of its cars with the acquisition. Today the company has level 2 automation (support for steering, braking or accelerating, but with a human driver). It is conducting plenty of tests on more autonomy, including two years ago in Brussels.
For Lyft, the sale is primarily a financial improvement. For them, a hundred million dollars in net operating costs are eliminated every year. Lyft says it can be profitable more quickly. Toyota is now paying $ 200 million, with the remaining $ 350 million to follow over the next five years.