Lyft sells its autonomous vehicle business to Toyota subsidiary

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Lyft Inc. is selling its autonomous vehicle division to a -0.94% subsidiary of ToyotaTM for $ 550 million in cash, and sees the move as a way to accelerate the development of autonomous driving technology. Lyft LYFT, -1.00% said Monday that its Tier 5 autonomous vehicle team will join Woven Planet Holdings Inc., a Toyota Group AV company.

“Lyft has spent nine years building a transportation network that is uniquely capable of scaling autonomous vehicles,” Lyft CEO Logan Green said in a statement. “This partnership between Woven Planet and Lyft represents a huge step forward for autonomous vehicle technology.” Woven Planet and Lyft have signed commercial agreements for the use of the Lyft system and fleet data to accelerate the safety and commercialization of the automated driving vehicles that Woven Planet will develop according to the agreement, approved by both boards and subject to the conditions of As usual, Lyft will receive $ 200 million upfront and $ 350 million in payments over a five-year period, according to a press release. The trucking company also said it expects the transaction to reduce net operating expenses by $ 100 million, which will help achieve adjusted EBITDA profitability sooner. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter. Woven Planet and Lyft also agreed that the former will use the latter’s system and fleet data. Lyft shares were up about 2.5% in extended trading after closing 1% at $ 63.06 in the regular session. In December, rival Lyft Uber Technologies Inc. UBER, -0.55% dumped its autonomous driving business to startup Aurora Technologies. That deal involved Uber investing $ 400 million in Aurora and holding a stake in it.