Toyota to buy Lyft self-driving unit for $550m

Toyota Motor Corp is planning to buy Lyft’s self-driving tech division ‘Level 5’ for $550 million.

The buyout will be carried out by Woven Planet Holdings, a subsidiary of Toyota.

The deal is set to bring together scientists and software engineers from Level 5, Woven Planet, and researchers from Toyota Research Institute. The team will be made up of 1,200 employees.

In addition to the acquisition of Level 5, Woven Planet and Lyft have signed commercial agreements for use of the Lyft system and fleet data to accelerate the safety and commercialisation of the automated-driving technology that Woven Planet will develop.

“This acquisition advances our mission to develop the safest mobility in the world at scale,” said James Kuffner, chief executive, Woven Planet. “The Woven Planet team, alongside the team of researchers at TRI, have already established a center of excellence for software development and technology in the Toyota Group.

Kuffner added: “Bringing Level 5’s world-class engineers and experts into the fold—as well as additional technology resources—will allow us to have even greater speed and impact. This deal will be key in weaving together the people, resources, and infrastructure that will help us to transform the world we live in through mobility technologies that can bring about a happier, safer future for us all.”

Logan Green, chief executive of Lyft said: “Today’s announcement launches Lyft into the next phase of an incredible journey to bring our mission to life. Lyft has spent nine years building a transportation network that is uniquely capable of scaling autonomous vehicles. This deal brings together the vision, talent, resources and commitment to advance clean, autonomous mobility on a global scale.”

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