The Japanese manufacturer’s research division Woven Planet Holdings reportedly paid US$550 million (AU$710,000) for the program, with an initial US$200 million (AU$260,000) investment preceding a further US$350 million (AU$450,000) over the next five years.
The development program – and its 300 full-time staff – will reportedly continue to operate uninterrupted out of its Palo Alto, California headquarters.
Last year Uber similarly decided to offload its own autonomous driving division, suggesting the viability of the technology is unclear for the immediate future.
While self-driving vehicles generated significant media and stock-market interest throughout much of the 2010s, recent technical and legal challenges since appear to have significantly hampered development. Despite this, earlier this year the German government released plans to legalise autonomous vehicle testing on public roads for the first time.
Earlier this year Toyota suggested its own in-house e-Palette autonomous bus would be rolled out for commercial applications “within the next few years."
It appears there are currently no plans for Lyft to come to Australia, however CarAdvice has reached out to the company for clarification. This story will be updated when more information becomes available.