In the last few hours, Lyft has announced the agreement they have reached with Toyota to sell them their autonomous card division for $550 million. The company is offering its autonomous driving technology and 300 employees who will be joining the Toyota team.
Lyft created this division in 2017 with the promise of offering fully autonomous cars by 2021. Things haven’t quite gone as planned. The idea was to combine hardware from other vendors and in-house software to create an autonomous driving kit to sell to other manufacturers. At the time the company saw the autonomous car division as its primary long-term focus.
Toyota has bought the car division of Lyft for %550 million
Toyota will integrate 300 employees into its Toyota Research Institute (TRI) research group. On the other hand, they will keep the technology already developed by Lyft and its patents. Finally, it is worth noting that the data collected by Lyft’s cab fleet will continue to be used to improve Toyota’s autonomous driving.
The $550 million will not be paid in all at once. $200 million will be paid upfront and the remaining $350 million will be received over a five-year period. Lyft, for its part, expects to save about $100 million in expenses by reducing research and development costs.
Toyota is currently the second-largest vehicle manufacturer in the world. The Japanese company has however hardly shown its efforts in autonomous cars unlike its rivals such as Volkswagen, Daimler, or Ford.