Woven Planet Holdings, a subsidiary of Toyota, announced the acquisition of the autonomous vehicle division of Lyft, Level 5, in a $550 million deal. Level 5, researchers from Toyota Research Institute and Woven Planet were already working together. The acquisition leads to a team of approximately 1,200 people working on autonomous driving at Toyota.
“Today’s announcement launches Lyft into the next phase of an incredible journey to bring our mission to life,” Lyft Co-Founder and CEO Logan Green said. “Lyft has spent nine years building a transportation network that is uniquely capable of scaling AVs. This partnership between Woven Planet and Lyft represents a major step forward for autonomous vehicle technology.”
“This acquisition assembles a dream team of world-class engineers and scientists to deliver safe mobility technology for the world,” James Kuffner, CEO of Woven Planet said. “The Woven Planet team, alongside the team of researchers at Toyota Research Institute, have already established a center of excellence for software development, automated driving, and advanced safety technology within the Toyota Group. I am absolutely thrilled to welcome Level 5’s world-class engineers and experts into our company, which will greatly strengthen our efforts.”
The Level 5 team will join Woven Planet, a subsidiary of Toyota dedicated to developing autonomous driving and other advanced mobility technologies. In addition to the acquisition of Level 5, Woven Planet and Lyft have signed commercial agreements for the utilization of Lyft system and fleet data to accelerate the safety and commercialization of the automated-driving vehicles that Woven Planet will develop.
Lyft’s Open Platform team, which focuses on the deployment and scaling of third-party self-driving technology on the Lyft network, will become the new Lyft Autonomous team. “We are excited about the transformative impact AVs will have on our world as we drive toward a future that is electric, autonomous and shared,” Green said. “With Lyft Autonomous, we can combine the power of Lyft’s hybrid network, marketplace engine and fleet management capabilities to help our AV partners scale deployment with the highest revenue per mile at the lowest cost per mile. We look forward to continuing to partner with the best autonomous vehicle companies to bring this technology to market.”