Lyft announces new self-driving partnership

Darnell Taylor
March 15, 2018

Leading Canadian mobility technology company Magna has invested $200mn in San Francisco's Lyft as the two companies have announced a new partnership aimed at developing a new range of self-driving systems.

The deal with MGA is Lyft's first involving a large-scale manufacturer, and Lyft says the kits the companies develop could be sold to auto makers, ride-hailing networks or even drivers themselves.

The deal, which includes Magna investing $200 million into Lyft, will see the two companies collaborating and jointly funding, developing and manufacturing self-driving auto tech that can scale up.

Logan said that the resulting self-driving vehicle technology will also be available, presumably for purchase, by other auto companies who might not have their own self-driving tech team. Meanwhile, Lyft already has several partnerships allowing Drive.ai, Aptiv, Waymo, GM, Ford, and Jaguar to test their self-driving technology on Lyft's ride-hail network. Last spring the ride hailing company partnered with Waymo, Google's self-driving company, to develop self-driving vehicle technology. But both companies will have team members working side-by-side at Level 5 on hardware, software, safety and design for manufacturing.

The companies say they will share jointly created intellectual property and use data from Lyft's eight billion kilometres travelled per year on its network to improve the systems.

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Magna is a top North American vehicle parts supplier.

Magna is well-placed to spread self-driving tech across the entire automotive industry. It will look after outfitting vehicles from a variety of brands to enable them to operate on the Lyft network.

Lyft and Magna expect their tech to be ready for market use "over the next few years".

"The ultimate goal is to build the world's best Level 5 system and democratize this self-driving technology", Green said in a press call on Wednesday.

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