Lyft & Magna team up to speed up self-driving vehicle development

Lyft & Magna

Lyft on Wednesday announced it will collaborate with Canada's Magna on self-driving auto technology, with the automotive components giant set to invest $200 million in Uber's main rival.

On Wednesday, Lyft announced a partnership with auto-parts supplier Magna to develop a self-driving vehicle system.

The companies announced the partnership Wednesday and also said that Magna would invest $200 million in Lyft.

Lyft and Magna will share jointly created IP and utilize Lyft data to improve systems.

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Raj Kapoor, Lyft's chief strategy officer, says Lyft needs auto industry expertise to manufacture autonomous vehicle components and eventually build the vehicles. It will look after outfitting vehicles from a variety of brands to enable them to operate on the Lyft network.

While Uber has assembled a massive internal team of engineers building self-driving vehicles, Lyft got off to a slower start.

Meanwhile, Lyft already has several partnerships allowing Drive.ai, Aptiv, Waymo, GM, Ford, and Jaguar to test their self-driving technology on Lyft's ride-hail network.

Lyft and Ford teamed up to test self-driving vehicle tech.

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The systems will be co-developed by the two companies, according to a Magna press release, though Lyft will take the lead in developing the technology at its Palo Alto, California engineering lab. Magna will lead the manufacturing side of things.

Lyft's deal with Magna isn't expected to scuttle those partnerships. Swamy Kotagiri, a chief technology officer for Magna International, has conveyed that this unique association is a blend of vast industry experience and a new mobility prototype for offering self-driving systems.

Those kits - which are used to convert ordinary automobiles into self-driving cars - include cameras, radar and lidar systems that use light pulses to gauge a vehicle's position on and near the road. Earlier in January this year, the ride-sharing firm carried out a test program in Las Vegas with self-driving BMW sedans by using self-driving technology of Aptiv, a United Kingdom based automotive parts tech firm.

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