Jaguar Land Rover Invests $25 Million in Lyft
JLR is investing millions in the ride-sharing and ride-hailing company through the carmaker's InMotion tech subsidiary.
Lyft is proving quite popular. In addition to an existing relationship with General Motors and recently-announced partnerships with Waymo and NuTonomy, the ride-sharing company is getting an injection of cash from Jaguar Land Rover.
JLR will invest $25 million in Lyft through the carmaker's InMotion tech subsidiary, the automaker announced today. The investment will "support Lyft's expansion and technology plans," according to a JLR press release. The automaker also hopes it will create opportunities to co-develop self-driving cars, and to set up Lyft drivers with Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles.
InMotion was started last year to focus on tech trends like ride-sharing services and self-driving cars. While it is still a part of JLR, it was designed to function relatively independently, with the character of a start-up. JLR announced plans to build a fleet of 100 semi-autonomous test cars last year, and has even done some off-road autonomous testing. But the company seems more interested in driver-assist systems than full autonomy.
Autonomous driving is something Lyft is getting more serious about. Over the past few weeks, it announced partnerships with both Waymo (the former Google self-driving car project) and NuTonomy, the Boston-based startup that operates a pilot autonomous-taxi service in Singapore. NuTonomy's self-driving cars will actually begin picking up Lyft riders in Boston later this year.
JLR isn't the first automaker to invest in Lyft. Last year, General Motors put $500 million into the company; GM has also provided low-cost car rentals to Lyft drivers through its Maven mobility division, although that arrangement is no longer exclusive to Lyft. It's possible that Lyft could also access the autonomous-driving tech being developed by GM's Cruise Automation subsidiary.
While Lyft has many partnerships in the works, it does not have an in-house self-driving car development program. That in theory puts it at a disadvantage to Uber, its main rival. However, Uber's self-driving car program has faced many challenges, including an ongoing legal battle with Waymo...and one crash.
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