Sci-tech

Magna partners with rideshare company Lyft

Magna partners with rideshare company Lyft

Lyft and Magna International will share expenses on a multi-year project that could vault them onto the leader board in autonomous vehicle technology.

Lyft announces new self-driving partnership with Magna, a Canadian automotive parts manufacturer to develop a self-driving vehicle for its ride-hailing network.

Magna International Inc. and Lyft will share the intellectual property from co-developing autonomous vehicles, and Magna will be free to sell the technology to auto companies.

In addition to the partnership, Magna is investing $200 million in Lyft for an equity stake in the company.

"This industry is at an early stage; it's like when the first smartphone appeared on the market", said Raj Kapoor, Lyft's chief strategy officer.

The auto industry is looking for ways to profit from the rise of car-sharing services like Lyft and bigger rival Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL], which are expected to reduce vehicle sales and chip away at future profits.

The alliance comes amid reports that Lyft is gaining ground on USA ride-share market leader Uber, which has seen its image dented by scandal and litigation. This partnership positions Magna and Lyft to enable the development and manufacturing of self-driving systems at scale.

Lyft has made an array of alliances, including with investors Ford and General Motors, since opening its self-driving initiative to other companies.

"There is a new mobility landscape emerging and partnerships like this put us at the forefront of this change", said Swamy Kotagiri, Magna Chief Technology Officer.

Under the hood, the deal will see Lyft lead the codevelopment of the self-driving tech at its Palo Alto engineering center while Magna will lead the manufacturing side. Last spring the ride hailing company partnered with Waymo, Google's self-driving company, to develop self-driving vehicle technology.