As it works to get its own self-driving cars up and running, Lyft has snagged yet another partnership to develop the technology. Automotive supplier Magna is the latest company to team up with Lyft on self-driving cars, joining a list that includes the likes of Ford and Waymo, as well as startups NuTonomy and Drive.ai.
Magna will invest $200 million in Lyft as part of the deal. The two companies will work together to develop an autonomous-driving system that can be manufactured at scale, according to a jointly-issued press release. Lyft and Magna hope to have their self-driving system ready production "over the next few years."
Lyft will lead development work at its Palo Alto, California self-driving car engineering center, and supply data generated by its users and drivers. Magna will bring its manufacturing expertise into play to get the system into production. The company has experience not only developing components but manufacturing entire cars under contract for automakers. Two of Magna's contract-manufacturing jobs include the BMW 530e iPerformance plug-in hybrid and the Jaguar I-Pace.
While the jointly-developed system will be used for self-driving cars operated by Lyft, the partners plan to make it available to other companies as well. Considering the recently-resolved legal battle between Uber and Waymo over autonomous-car tech, it's a fairly unusual attitude.
"Together with Magna, we will accelerate the introduction of self-driving vehicles by sharing our technology with automotive OEMs worldwide," Lyft CEO Logan Green said in a statement. "This is an entirely new approach that will democratize access to this transformative technology."
Lyft has always been a team player when it comes to self-driving cars. While the company launched its own autonomous-car development program last year, it's efforts have been defined by partnerships with other companies. Autonomous cars from startup NuTonomy and its parent company, Aptiv, have given demonstrations under the Lyft banner, but Lyft is just now beginning to test its own self-driving cars. Those first tests will take place at GoMentum Station, a test track built on a former military base in the San Francisco Bay Area.