Lyft. Image source Pinterest

Woven Planet Holdings, the subsidiary of Toyota, is buying  Level 5, an autonomous vehicle division of Lyft, for $550 million (R7, 8 billion). Lyft is one of the largest ride-hailing companies in the world. This marks the first major deal for the newly established Woven Planet.

The deal will bring together world-class scientists and software engineers from Level 5, Woven Planet, and researchers from Toyota Research Institute (TRI), already working together with Woven Planet.

The resulting combined “dream team” of approximately 1,200 will represent one of the most diverse, well-resourced and talented groups in this field.

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

“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.”

Woven Planet and Lyft have also signed commercial agreements for utilization of the Lyft system and fleet data to accelerate the safety and commercialization of the automated-driving technology that Woven Planet will develop.

Lyft was founded in 2012 and is one of the largest transportation networks in the United States and Canada. As the world shifts away from car ownership to transportation-as-a-service, Lyft is at the forefront of this massive societal change.

“Today’s announcement launches Lyft into the next phase of an incredible journey to bring our mission to life,” said Logan Green, CEO of Lyft.

“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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