Toyota’s Woven Planet Holdings has acquired Level 5, Lyft’s self-driving unit. Woven Planet’s deal brings scientists, software engineers, and researchers together as one.
Last year, we detailed the launch of Woven, but since that time they’ve been relatively quiet until now. Woven has put together engineers, research scientists, and mobility services experts. They’ve amassed sensing, computing, and software assets, to go along with automated driving system capabilities.
The company is growing beyond its headquarters in Tokyo to include teams in Palo Alto, California, and London, UK. Besides Level 5, Lyft agreed to the use of their data to fast track the autonomous technology Woven Planet is developing. Lyft’s vast system and fleet data will make Woven commercially viable that much faster, according to the company.
Lyft received $550 million in cash, with $200 million paid upfront, and the balance paid over five years.
“This acquisition advances our mission to develop the safest mobility in the world at scale. The Woven Planet team, alongside the team of researchers at TRI, have already established a center of excellence for software development and technology in the Toyota Group,” said James Kuffner, Woven Planet’s CEO.
“Bringing Level 5’s world-class engineers and experts into the fold—as well as additional technology resources—will allow us to have even greater speed and impact. This deal will be key in weaving together the people, resources, and infrastructure that will help us to transform the world.”
Lyft’s CEO, Logan Green stated, “Lyft has spent nine years building a network capable of scaling autonomous vehicles. This brings together the vision, talent, resources and commitment.”
Woven Planet’s mission is to combine Silicon Valley culture with Japanese craftsmanship to develop mobility solutions. The acquisition accelerates Woven’s ability to advance technology. We wonder whose responsibility it will be to plug in the autonomous EV, the brain onboard, or yours?