Lyft sells its subsidiary called Level 5 to Toyota subsidiary Woven Planet Holdings. The company Level 5, founded in 2017, deals with the development of self-driving cars. Toyota has been researching in this direction for two years at the Toyota Research Institute. The Japanese recently renamed their institute Woven CORE under the umbrella of the new Woven Planet Holdings. Lyfts Level 5 will become a sister company of the Toyota Research Institute / Woven CORE.
For this, Toyota will jump out $ 550 million in cash – $ 200 million as soon as the necessary antitrust approvals have been received, and another $ 350 million spread over the next five years. also awaits Lyftthat your own losses will decrease by about $ 100 million annually.
At the request of heise onlines, Lyft announced that there is no guarantee of jobs for Level 5 employees, including around 300 developers. Toyota has only committed to submitting a new job offer to everyone. As part of the deal, Toyota will also be able to copy data from Lyft in the future. The knowledge gained in this way should help Woven Planet to make more money with the self-driving cars that are still to be developed.
Lyft wants to stay in the game indirectly
In this area, Lyft also sees its future in the field of autonomous vehicles, even if they will no longer come from in-house: The company wants to provide its transport services through a mixture of self-driving and human-driven vehicles. Autonomous cars should cover the basic demand and be used as efficiently as possible, for which Lyft is developing software solutions. According to the plan, human chauffeurs are then used to cover demand peaks more lucratively.
In the area of fleet management, Lyft would one day support owners of large fleets of electric, self-driving vehicles. The planned offer includes workshops, charging systems, demand forecasts, as well as financing through to the purchase and sale of cars. A second track should help with road maps, current traffic data, route specifications, customer service and billing, for example. The Marketplace after all, it should calculate the optimal prices for transports, operate customer loyalty programs, organize travel groups and send the foreign autonomous vehicles to customers.
Institutional investors reacted positively to Lyft and Toyota’s announcement on Monday evening. After the market closed, Lyft’s share price initially climbed 1.8%. In December, Lyft’s rival Uber announced that it was divesting the self-driving car division.