The New Era of Autonomous Vehicle Economics: Lyft and Magna

Canadian based auto parts manufacturer is investing $200 million in Lyft and will supply them with car parts for their AV's.

The future economy developing from AV technology is being felt around the world. Car part manufacturers are starting to gear up with new production lines and supply chains to distribute parts through centralized car companies. Lyft is just one of these, as it intends to hit the markets by 2020 with AV rideshare cars.

Magna, the Canadian base, global tier-1 car parts manufacturer is teaming up with Lyft to develop the parts necessary for manufacturing level-4 cars; driverless vehicles. Magna is giving Lyft more than just the injection of capital; it is also providing Lyft with a partnership in a company that earned $38 billion in revenues during 2017 and has a market value of $19 billion. Magna is also part of a global auto consortium that includes Mobilize, BMW and Intel, who are working together to produce an AV platform and parts that range from mirrors to an advanced driver assist systems with powertrains and EV parts, in collaboration with Tesla, VW, and Toyota.

The $200 million injection is part of Google’s $1 billion investment round that pushes Lyft’s market value towards $12 billion.

Lyfts philosophy is to democratize AV technology, it does not want AV's to be possessed by a few major companies but wants every automobile manufacturer, car parts dealer, and tech company as well as rideshare and other services to have access to their technology. The concept is taken from the plug and play concept in IT, where you can attach any part of an AV design to any automobile.

Lyft states that "We don't want just one or two companies out there in the world to have access to self-driving technology. We want every single OEM to be able to make self-driving vehicles, and we want those vehicles to be able to operate on the Lyft network."

Lyft is not the only company competing for AV first. It is partnered with Jaguar-Land Rover, Waymo, GM Ford, Aptiv, NuTonomy, and Last year, Lyft decided to change tracks and claimed that it intends to invest in its own complement of hardware and software for the AV sector. To meet this new concept, Lyft invested in a large 50,000-square-foot engineering facility in Palo Alto which is now its AV engineering center and is managed by Luc Vincent, who comes from Google Maps.

Lyft and Magna have not yet set a date when they intend to roll out they're first fully operational AV, and in the meantime, Lyft is relying on Aptiv's AV together with NuTonomy for its first AV design. Lyft and Magna will now start to develop their own in-house design and test it in the GoMentum driving station just outside San Francisco.

Magna is the first of many, all automakers, car parts manufacturers and niche products producers are all going to jump on the AV bandwagon. Its just a matter of time and the world will go driverless, while the suppliers will just adapt to the new reality. The only losers in this scenario are millions and billions of drivers.