Lyft has announced Toyota subsidiary Woven Planet is acquiring its self-driving division, Level 5.
Autonomous driving is widely considered to be the next major evolution of the auto industry. Unfortunately, autonomous driving has been a difficult technology to crack for companies of all sizes. Tesla recently was called out by Consumer Reports for self-driving tech that’s easily fooled.
Meanwhile, Level 5 was launched in 2017, with the goal being to have a majority of rides happen in self-driving vehicles by 2021. Instead, Lyft is now selling off its self-driving division after failing to meet those goals. Woven Planet, Toyota’s autonomous driving division, is buying Level 5 for $550 million.
“Today’s announcement launches Lyft into the next phase of an incredible journey to bring our mission to life,” Lyft Co-Founder and CEO Logan Green said. “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.”
“This acquisition assembles a dream team of world-class engineers and scientists to deliver safe mobility technology for the world,” James Kuffner, CEO of Woven Planet said. “The Woven Planet team, alongside the team of researchers at Toyota Research Institute, have already established a center 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.”