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Magna invests $200 million in Lyft, partners on self-driving car tech

Photo: Lyft

Magna, a Canadian automotive part supplier, is investing $200 million into Lyft for an equity stake, the companies said on Wednesday. They'll also work on self-driving car tech together, which will include integrating the technology into vehicles Magna helps manufacture.

Why it matters: Lyft is in the self-driving car race, along with rival Uber and a growing number of automakers and tech companies. In 2016, it took a $500 million investment from General Motors, also as part of a partnership to work on autonomous driving, and last year unveiled a Silicon Valley R&D office.

Details: "Magna and Lyft are co-funding and co-developing a self-driving system together," Lyft CEO Logan Green said during a press event. The partnership will include hardware, software, safety testing, and designs for manufacturing.

  • The two will work from Lyft's new Palo Alto, Calif. facility where it's been developing autonomous tech.
  • Magna will take the lead on manufacturing and will outfit cars from customer automakers with autonomous driving technology.

Partnership strategy: This is in line with Lyft's self-driving car strategy, which has emphasized working with many partners instead of a select few or doing everything in-house.

  • "From Lyft’s perspective, we don't want just one or two companies out there to have access to our technology," said Green.

Fun fact: Last year, iPod co-creator and Nest co-founder Tony Fadell joined Magna's tech advisory council.

Lyft declined to comment on the impact of its relationship with Magna on its partnership with General motors. It also declined to specify when its self-driving cars will be on the road.

Jonathan Swan 10 hours ago
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Trump asked Netanyahu if he genuinely cares about peace

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Trump at the White House in March. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

In a phone call last year with Bibi Netanyahu, President Trump said something that shocked some of the people who helped prepare his briefing materials for the conversations. According to three sources familiar with the call, Trump asked Bibi bluntly if he actually cares about peace or not.

The details: Trump was pressing Bibi on the importance of striking a "deal" for Mideast peace. He'd read news reports about Bibi planning to build additional settlements to please his conservative base in Israel. Trump thought Bibi was unnecessarily angering the Palestinians. So, in the course of a longer conversation that was mostly friendly and complimentary, he bluntly asked Bibi whether or not he genuinely wants peace.

Jonathan Swan 10 hours ago
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Kellyanne Conway rises — again

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Kellyanne Conway has never actually wanted the job of White House communications director, according to sources who've discussed it with her, but Axios has learned that she left many in the White House communications team this week with the impression that she'd be leading the team in some capacity.

Behind the scenes: Senior White House communications official Mercedes Schlapp convened an off-site team-building and planning retreat last week for the White House comms team. They held the session on Thursday at the General Services Administration building a couple blocks from the WH (the same building that once housed the transition).