Toyota takes over the industry focused on self-driving cars from the American Lyft. The deal is worth $ 550 million. With the acquisition, the Japanese car manufacturer wants to further focus on the development of autonomous vehicles.
Toyota announces the deal on Tuesday. The self-driving car division is planned to become part of the automaker’s Woven Planet project. With this project Toyota wants to develop autonomous vehicles. Toyota also wants to build a ‘smart’ city called Woven City.
The acquisition is planned to be completed in the third quarter of 2021. Lyft’s 300 employees who are currently working on the development of self-driving cars are making the switch to Toyota. The employees will continue to work on the development of autonomous vehicles together with the current Woven Planet team.
With the deal, Lyft appears to be definitively abandoning its ambitions for developing an autonomous vehicle. The company started developing an autonomous vehicle four years ago. In a statement to Reuters, Lyft reports that the autonomous vehicle industry’s sales will save $ 100 million a year.
Lyft is a major competitor to Uber in the United States. Uber also sold its autonomous vehicle development division. At the end of last year, Uber announced that it would sell the division to start-up Aurora.