Jaguar Land Rover said its mobility services business, InMotion Ventures, would invest USD25 million in U.S. ride services company Lyft to help develop and test technology for self-driving cars.
The auto industry and technology companies are racing to develop self-driving technology, which in the years to come is expected to transform transportation by cutting costs of ride services and changing the way people buy and use cars.
InMotion will also supply Lyft with a fleet of Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles, the automaker said on Monday.
InMotion’s investment follows its recent seed investment in SPLT, the Detroit-based digital carpool business, which works with Lyft to provide non-emergency medical transport.
The investment shows automakers are hedging their bets in the competitive ride-hailing market. Tata Group, which owns Tata Motors and JLR, previously invested at least $100 million in Uber, and they formed a financing partnership in India last year. General Motors Co., which is a major Lyft investor and partner, started working with Uber last year on car-sharing after rolling out a similar program with Lyft.
Lyft’s partnership with JLR comes on the heels of last month’s surprise announcement that the ride-hailing startup is working with Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo. The Google sister company is suing Uber over self-driving car technology, even though Waymo’s parent company is an Uber investor. In addition to JLR and Waymo, Lyft works with GM on autonomous driving projects and said last week that it struck a similar alliance with startup NuTonomy.