Lyft Inc. is selling its autonomous-vehicle division to a Toyota
subsidiary for $550 million in cash, calling the move a way to speed up the development of self-driving technology.
said Monday that its Level 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 AVs,” said Lyft Chief Executive Logan Green in a statement. “This partnership between Woven Planet and Lyft represents a major step forward for autonomous-vehicle technology.”
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
Under the deal, approved by both boards and subject to customary closing conditions, Lyft will receive $200 million upfront and $350 million in payments over a five-year period, according to a news release. The ride-hailing company also said it expects the transaction to reduce net operating expenses by $100 million, which will help get it to 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.
Shares of Lyft were up about 2.5% in extended trading after closing down 1% at $63.06 in the regular session.
In December, Lyft rival Uber Technologies Inc.
unloaded its self-driving business to startup Aurora Technologies. That deal involved Uber investing $400 million into Aurora and retaining a stake in it.