Jaguar land Rover, who is under the ownership of Tata Motors Limited (ADR) (NYSE: TTM) has said that its mobility service business, InMotion Ventures would $25 million in U.S. ride service company Lyft Inc. to help develop and test technology for self-driving cars. This is a strategic investment for both the companies to get innovating new mobility solutions for the customers. Up until now Lyft has mainly focused their attentions on the U.S market but they expect the service to be active in 300 countries by the end of the year. Last week, Jaguar land Rover had predicted that self-driving cars could be on British roads within 15 years, which could mean people born today never have to learn to drive. InMotion will also supply Lyft with a fleet of Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles and this investment follows InMotion’s recent seed investment in SPLT, the Detroit-based digital carpool business, which works with Lyft to provide non-emergency medical transport.
The investment shows that the automakers are hedging their bets in the competitive ride-hailing market. Tata Group, which owns Tata Motors and Jaguar, previously invested at least $100 million in Uber, and they formed a financing partnership in India last year.
InMotion Ventures was set up last year to invest in new transport technologies. Jaguar land Rover has been testing its autonomous research vehicles on a 44-mile stretch near its Coventry headquarters. There has been increased interest in mobility companies such as Uber and Lyft after it has been predicted that personal car ownership will decline and ride-sharing will become more prolific. Further, the auto industry and technology companies are competing 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 sell cars.
The Uber rival would also offer with a fleet of vehicles by JLR to test the driverless technology on. This is not the first time the automaker has joined forces with Lyft to work on this technology with General Motorists and Google’s autonomous car maker Waymo previously doing so. Lyft has previously worked with General Motors and Google’s autonomous car manufacturer Waymo on self-driving vehicles. 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. Meanwhile, Uber has allies of its own and has agreements with Daimler AG and Volvo Cars on autonomous technology. It has also spent hundreds of millions on self-driving technology developed in-house, which is currently being tested with customers on public roads.