Lyft is offloading Level 5, its internal autonomous vehicle development team. The company announced on Monday it plans to sell the division to Toyota for $550 million. In turn, the Japanese automaker will integrate the team into its Woven Planet subsidiary. Toyota will pay Lyft $200 million upfront for the division, and another $350 million over five years to complete the transaction. The two companies say they expect the deal to close sometime in third quarter of this year.
And Lyft isn’t being shy about its reasons for selling Level 5. Provided the deal goes through, the company expects that its R&D spending will go down sharply as a result, an important step as the company tries to become profitable. “Assuming the transaction closes within the expected timeframe and the COVID recovery continues, we are confident that we can achieve Adjusted EBITDA profitability in the third quarter of this year,” said John Zimmer, the co-founder and president of Lyft.
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