SAN FRANCISCO, March 14 (Xinhua) -- U.S. ride-hailing firm Lyft announced Wednesday it is cooperating with Canadian company Magna International, a major global automotive component manufacturer, to develop self-driving systems at scale.
Magna will invest 200 million U.S. dollars in Lyft, and the two companies will establish an engineering center in Silicon Valley.
The multi-year collaboration will enable the two firms to jointly fund, develop and manufacture self-driving vehicles to be deployed on Lyft's ridesharing network, Magna said in a statement.
"Lyft's leadership in ridesharing and Magna's automotive expertise make this strategic partnership ideal to effect a positive change as a new transportation ecosystem unfolds," Swamy Kotagiri, Magna chief technology officer, said.
Magna said it has the ability to deploy the technologies across a wide range of use cases to benefit the entire global mobility ecosystem.
"Together with Magna, we will accelerate the introduction of self-driving vehicles by sharing our technology with automotive OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) worldwide," Lyft CEO Logan Green said.
This is an entirely new approach that will democratize access to this transformative technology, he added.
Magna will take the lead in manufacturing Lyft vehicles' self-driving system, outfitting the vehicles from a variety of brands.
California-based Lyft has cooperated with other tech firms and traditional automakers to run a race against its archrival Uber, which is developing its own self-driving vehicles.
Last year, Lyft teamed up with U.S. automaker Ford and Waymo, Google's self-driving company, to develop and test self-driving car technology.
Lyft said it will share with Magna any jointly-created intellectual property and open its data for the Canadian company to improve systems.
Founded in June 2012, Lyft is the fastest growing rideshare company in the United States, available to 95 percent of the population.