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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Toyota's Woven Planet subsidiary has acquired Lyft's autonomous driving unit, Level 5, for $550 million, the companies announced on Monday.

Why it matters: After ride-hailing companies poured a lot of money into, and made big deal out of their investments into autonomous driving, both Uber and Lyft have now sold off their self-driving car units.

  • It's also notable that Lyft is selling its unit to Toyota despite its initial close relationship with General Motors, which invested $500 million into the ride-hailing company along with a partnership to work on autonomous driving.
  • Since then, GM acquired self-driving startup Cruise, raising questions about its relationship with Lyft.

Background: Woven Planet is a subsidiary of Toyota that's developing a private testbed near Japan's Mount Fuji, where the company says it's building a prototype "city of the future."

Deal details: Of the $550 million in cash, Lyft will get $200 million upfront subject to certain closing adjustments, and $350 million over a five-year period.

  • The companies have also signed a partnership to use Lyft's system and fleet data as part of Woven Planet's development of autonomous driving tech.

The bottom line: A few years ago, companies including Lyft made bold predictions about the rapid arrival of autonomous driving—but it's clear that getting there is much harder, and some companies are now cutting their losses and focusing on their core competencies.

Go deeper: The rise of AV testbed cities

Go deeper

Robinhood's IPO came amid a regulatory storm

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Robinhood, best known for its popular no-fee stock trading app, went public last Thursday while facing an unusually large legal and regulatory storm.

Why it matters: While some challenges will likely resolve, others could seriously maim the company, forcing it to right its business ship under the scrutiny and pressures of the public markets.

Stephen Breyer formally announces retirement from Supreme Court

Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP

Justice Stephen Breyer on Thursday sent a letter to President Biden formally announcing his retirement from the Supreme Court.

State of play: Breyer said his retirement will take effect when the court "rises for the summer recess (typically late June or early July) assuming that by then my successor has been nominated and confirmed."

COVID created an epic U.S. trade gap

Chart: Axios Visuals. Data: Census Bureau/Bureau of Economic Analysis

The details of the blockbuster fourth quarter GDP report released Thursday morning tell a vivid story of how the underpinnings of the world economy have been reshaped by the pandemic.

One example: In the arithmetic around U.S. economic output, trade acted as a more severe drag last year than it has in a generation.