The ride-hailing service Lyft has agreed to alliances with just about anyone working on driverless car technology. Its latest partnership aims to make its autonomous vehicle technology available to any car manufacturer.
Lyft said Wednesday that it had reached a deal with Magna International, one of the world's biggest auto suppliers, to jointly develop and manufacture self-driving car systems.
The companies said they will work together to introduce autonomous vehicles to Lyft's ride-hailing network. At the same time, Magna can sell the driverless-car technology to any customer — including other technology companies.
Magna also said it would invest $200 million in Lyft's latest fund-raising round, lifting the San Francisco-based company's valuation to $11.7 billion.
The partnership reflects Lyft's open-arms approach to autonomous vehicles.
Lyft has opened its ride-hailing network to other companies working on self-driving cars, including Ford and General Motors, a major Lyft investor, so they can gain real-world experience by picking up passengers and collecting data.
Uber, Lyft's main rival, has been developing self-driving technology mostly on its own. Waymo, a Lyft partner, is slowly introducing its own ride-hailing service using autonomous Chrysler Pacifica minivans equipped with Waymo's own hardware and software.
Read more from The New York Times:
Tech leaders are growing up (again). That's a good thing.
Even with takeover bid blocked, Qualcomm 'is in a tight spot'
Facebook blocks Britain First, a far-right anti-muslim group promoted by Trump
The hype over self-driving cars has made development of the technology challenging for some traditional automakers. Car companies face huge salaries for top artificial intelligence engineers and limited access to data and key components. The competitive landscape is so charged that it has already given birth to at least one high-profile lawsuit.
As a result, automakers are confronting a choice: Pay big for a technology start-up or risk falling behind. Last year, Ford announced it would invest $1 billion in Argo AI, an artificial intelligence start-up focused on developing autonomous vehicle technology. GM acquired Cruise for an estimated $1 billion in cash, stock and incentive packages in 2016, the same year it invested $500 million in Lyft.