News broke this week that Woven Planet, a Toyota subsidiary, will acquire Level 5, Lyft’s self-driving unit, for $550 million. The transaction, which is expected to close in Q3 2021, includes $200 million paid upfront and $350 million over a five-year period.
Toyota will gain full control of Lyft’s technology and its team of 300. Lyft will remain in the game as a partner to Toyota’s self-driving efforts, providing its ride-hailing service as a platform to commercialize the technology when it comes to fruition.
The Toyota-Lyft deal is significant because it comes on the back of a year of major shifts in the self-driving car industry. These changes suggest the autonomous vehicle market will be dominated by a few wealthy companies that can withstand huge costs and very late return on investment in a race that will last more than a few years.
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