Lyft hands over the autonomous driving research program to Toyota

The automotive industry has developed significantly in recent years. More than ever, technology is playing an important role in this crucial transition to electrical energy and, in the long term, to complete driving autonomy. Lyft, Uber’s main US competitor, today announced the sale of its “Level 5” program. This project is carried out by a specialized team to accelerate the development of autonomous vehicles.

“Level 5” is expected to be acquired by Toyota for $ 550 million. After this takeover, the team behind “Level 5” will be integrated into Woven Planet, a subsidiary of the Japanese giant that aims to develop a very reliable networked autonomous vehicle. Toyota will pay Lyft $ 200 million initially to acquire Level 5, then $ 350 million over five years to complete the transaction. The two companies agree that the transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.

Lyft and Uber leave the autonomous driving ship

Lyft Co-Founder and Chairman John Zimmer said: “Assuming the transaction closes on schedule and the recovery from COVID continues, we are confident that we can generate profitability on Adjusted EBITDA in the third quarter of this year. ” Like Uber, Lyft had big ambitions in the autonomous driving industry, but like Uber, Lyft prefers to abandon its ambitions and let other, more competent companies do the research.

As a reminder, Uber sold its autonomous driving division to Aurora in December 2020. It’s important to note that Uber has suffered many severe blows while working on autonomous driving, including a fatal accident in 2018. For its part, Lyft has been working on its “Level 5” project since 2017. Although the company has not encountered as serious obstacles as its competitor, today it prefers to lose the weight of this subsidiary.

Ironically, Toyota is particularly close to Aurora, the two companies working hand in hand to develop autonomous taxis. This means that the work done by Uber and Lyft, respectively, on their side will be merged after this acquisition.


By: Uber Technologies

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