Jaguar Land Rover drives $25 million into Lyft to develop self-driving cars

Jaguar Land Rover on Monday said it invested $25 million in Lyft — part of an effort to ramp up development of autonomous vehicles and other up-and-coming automotive technologies.

As part of the partnership, the car company will be able to develop and test its tech, including self-driving cars, on Lyft’s new Lyft Open Platform — a platform that lets makers of self-driving cars plug into the Lyft network. That way, autonomous vehicle companies can use Lyft’s the network of nearly 1 million rides per day to practice their driving skills.

And Jaguar Land Rover will supply a fleet of (regular) vehicles for Lyft drivers, according to a news release. The details are still being worked out, a Lyft spokesman said, but the deal means Lyft drivers will be able to rent the cars to pick up passengers.

The investment comes from InMotion Ventures, Jaguar Land Rover’s venture capital arm, which invests in transportation and mobility startups.

“Personal mobility and smart transportation is evolving and this new collaborative venture will provide a real-world platform helping us develop our connected and autonomous services,” Sebastian Peck, InMotion’s managing director, wrote in a statement.

Lyft President John Zimmer wrote: “Lyft envisions a future where shared mobility will transform cities and improve people’s lives. This partnership will help us achieve that ambitious goal.”

The investment was part of Lyft’s most recent round of fundraising, which closed in April at $600 million.

The news comes less than a week after Lyft announced a partnership with self-driving car software maker nuTonomy. The companies will work together on autonomous vehicles in Boston, where nuTonomy already has test cars on the road.

Photo: (From left to right) John Zimmer (Lyft President and Co-founder), Hanno Kirner (Jaguar Land Rover Executive Director of Corporate and Strategy) and Logan Green (Lyft CEO and Co-founder). (Courtesy of Lyft)


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