In a recent massive funding round Lyft raised USD$600 million, $25 million of that came from Jaguar Land Rover, via its mobility services subsidiary InMotion. As part of the agreement, Jaguar Land Rover’s investment will enable further testing of autonomous vehicles by Lyft and provide its drivers with a fleet of Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles.
Lyft may be attracting high profile partners in the car maker realm, such as Jaguar Land Rover, because of rival Uber’s growing problems, i.e.: the recent calls for CEO Travis Kalanick to “take a break” from the business for a short while. Lyft has also sought to partner on autonomy instead of pursuing its own technology for it, which is different from Uber’s current approach.
Uber has also drawn automakers to the table concerning self-driving autos and services, as well as using its ride hailing platform for mobility service offerings. Both Uber and Lyft seem keen on adopting the role of connectors between riders/customers and these future services, whereas automakers, will find that they will need to leave an elaborate and difficult part of the process to partners with experience, instead of having to tackle that part of the tech business on their own.
The fact that Jaguar Land Rover will provide Lyft with a fleet of vehicles, suggests the partnership could possibly include more cooperative service offerings before the emergence of commercial self-driving tech.