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FILE – In this Nov. 2, 2020, file photo, visitors walk at a Toyota showroom in Tokyo. Toyota Motor Corp. has acquired the self-driving division of American ride-hailing company Lyft for $500 million, in a move that underlines the Japanese automaker’s ambitions in that technology, announced Tuesday, April 27, 2021.

Toyota acquires Lyft's self-driving unit for $500 million

FILE – In this March 24, 2020, file photo, a Lyft sign is shown at a ride-hailing pickup location for automobiles in Detroit. Toyota Motor Corp. has acquired the self-driving division of American ride-hailing company Lyft for $500 million, in a move that underlines the Japanese automaker’s ambitions in that technology, announced Tuesday, April 27, 2021.

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. has acquired the self-driving division of American ride-hailing company Lyft for $500 million, in a move that underlines the Japanese automaker’s ambitions in that technology.

The acquisition, announced Tuesday, was carried out by Woven Planet Holdings, a Toyota subsidiary that began business in January and focuses on innovations and investment in projects such as “smart cities,” robotics and automated driving.

The Woven Planet project will bring together engineers and researchers in mobility services, as well as the software and sensor assets and automated driving systems to further develop the technology, according to Toyota.

“This deal will be key in weaving together the people, resources, and infrastructure that will help us to transform the world we live in through mobility technologies that can bring about a happier, safer future for us all,” said Woven Planet Chief Executive James Kuffner.

Woven Planet and Lyft also signed commercial agreements to use the Lyft system and fleet data to speed up the commercialization of the technology.

Toyota also said the deal will mean Woven Planet will have Tokyo, Palo Alto, California, and London as its location sites.

A centerpiece of Woven Planet is the Woven City, which held a ground-breaking ceremony in Japan recently, to build a community showcasing intelligent homes, autonomous vehicles and other mobility products, where people, including Toyota workers, will live.

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