Over the past few years, the automotive industry has evolved considerably. More than ever, technology is playing an important role in this crucial transition to electric power and, in the long term, complete driving autonomy. However, Lyft, Uber’s main competitor in the United States, today announced the sale of its “Level 5” program. This project is being carried out by a specialized team to accelerate the development of autonomous vehicles.
“Level 5” is expected to be acquired by Toyota for $ 550 million. Following this takeover, the team behind “Level 5” will be integrated into Woven Planet, a subsidiary of the Japanese giant which aims to design a very reliable connected autonomous vehicle. Initially, Toyota will pay Lyft $ 200 million to acquire “Level 5”, then $ 350 million over 5 years to finalize the transaction. The two companies agree that the deal is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.
Lyft and Uber leave the autonomous driving ship
John Zimmer, Co-Founder and President of Lyft, says: “Assuming the transaction is completed on schedule and the post-COVID recovery continues, we are confident that we can achieve adjusted EBITDA profitability in the third quarter of this year”. Like Uber, Lyft had big ambitions in the autonomous driving industry, but like Uber, Lyft prefers to abandon its ambitions and let other, more competent companies take over the research.
As a reminder, Uber sold its autonomous driving division to Aurora in December 2020. It is important to point out that Uber has experienced many hard knocks in its work on autonomous driving, including a fatal accident in 2018. For its part, Lyft has been working on its “Level 5” project since 2017, and although the company has not encountered such serious obstacles as its competitor, it now prefers to shed the weight of this subsidiary.
Ironically, Toyota is particularly close to Aurora, the two companies are working hand in hand to develop autonomous taxis. This means that the work carried out by Uber and Lyft each on their side will be pooled, following this takeover.
By: Uber Technologies