Toyota to buy self-driving division of U.S. ride-hailing firm Lyft

Kyodo -- Apr 28
Toyota Motor Corp. said Tuesday it has agreed with U.S. ride-hailing firm Lyft Inc. to acquire its self-driving division for $550 million with an aim to accelerate the development of the carmaker's autonomous driving technologies.

The purchase via Woven Planet Holdings Inc., a Toyota unit engaging in software developments, will enable the Japanese automaker to have development bases in California and London in addition to Tokyo and increase the total number of researchers and engineers to 1,200.

Woven Planet and Lyft also have agreed to utilize Lyft's system and fleet data to speed up commercialization of Woven Planet's automated-driving technology and improve its safety features.

This will be the first buyout by Woven Planet since it started operation in January this year. It plans to complete the acquisition of Lyft's division, Level 5, in five years.

- Kyodo