The division, known as Level 5, has established itself among the leaders in the development of autonomous driving technologies.
Logan Green, Co-Founder and CEO of Lyft, said:
“Today’s announcement launches Lyft into the next phase of an incredible journey to bring our mission to life. 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.”
Woven Planet was created to expand and improve upon the operation of Toyota Research Institute – Advanced Development that was first established in 2018. The Woven Planet Group was formed with Woven Planet Holdings, Woven Core, Woven Alpha, and Woven Capital.
James Kuffner, CEO of Woven Planet, commented:
“This acquisition assembles a dream team of world-class engineers and scientists to deliver safe mobility technology for the world.
The Woven Planet team, alongside the team of researchers at Toyota Research Institute, have already established a centre 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 acquisition also features multi-year non-exclusive commercial agreements between Lyft and Woven Planet to accelerate the development and enhance the safety of automated driving technology.
Among the agreements between the companies is to enable Woven Planet to access Lyft’s system and fleet data to assist with the future self-driving vehicles that Woven Planet will develop.
Lyft’s Open Platform team 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.”
Lyft is receiving around $550 million in return for the division—consisting of $200 million upfront (subject to certain closing adjustments) and $350 million of payments over five years.
“Not only will this transaction allow Lyft to focus on advancing our leading Autonomous platform and transportation network, this partnership will help pull in our profitability timeline,” explains John Zimmer, Lyft Co-Founder and President.
The acquisition will have to clear regulatory authorities but, all going well, is expected to close in Q3 2021.
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