The Strategist

Lyft to sell its unmanned cars division to Toyota subsidiary for $550M

04/28/2021 - 04:04

Taxi aggregator Lyft has announced the sale of its unmanned car development division to a Toyota subsidiary for $550m. The service expects to break even after the deal closes, but will continue to work on unmanned driving technology with acquirer Woven Plane.

Sam Barnes / Collision / Sportsf
Sam Barnes / Collision / Sportsf
Uber's U.S. competitor Lyft will sell its unmanned car division to Toyota subsidiary Woven Plane for $550 million, the companies have announced. 

Lyft and Woven Planet will work together to improve the safety of automated driving technology, the companies said in a joint announcement of the deal. Lyft co-founder and president John Zimmer said the deal will not only allow the company to focus "on advancing our flagship autonomous platform and transportation network," but will also help accelerate its exit to profitability. Lyft expects the deal will reduce the company's annual operating costs by $100 million.

Zimmer added that the deal will close in the third quarter of 2021. If the economic recovery from the pandemic continues, Lyft expects to become a profitable company as early as the third quarter, after adjusting EBITDA at the end of it. Lyft is Uber's main competitor in the market for mobile taxi ordering apps in the US. The company went public in March 2019; Uber held an IPO in the second half of that year. Lyft shares rose more than 2 percent after the close of trading on Monday, 26 April.