Toyota assembles autonomous vehicle ‘dream team’

The acquisition of Lyft’s autonomous driving division creates a new powerhouse in self-driving technology. By Freddie Holmes

Toyota has snapped up Lyft’s autonomous driving division in a deal valuing the unit at US$550m. The acquisition came through Toyota’s subsidiary Woven Planet Holdings in April, which itself has only been operational for a few months. Specifically, Woven Planet will buy Level 5, a division of Lyft that has focussed on developing self-driving vehicle technologies since 2017.

Engineers and other experts from Level 5 will work alongside teams from Woven Planet and the wider Toyota Research Institute at a centre for excellence. Furthermore, a commercial agreement will allow Woven Planet—ergo, Toyota—to utilise Lyft’s fleet data, which would help to inform the business model of a robotaxi service. Lyft will turn its focus toward the autonomous vehicle (AV) user experience, fleet management services and marketplace, which handles factors such as revenue per mile, real-time demand prediction and vehicle routing.

It strengthens the automaker’s position

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