Magna Invests $300 Million On Electric Vehicles And Autonomous Tech

Magna International has announced a series of large research and development investments towards new technologies, including self-driving systems.

This year, the Canadian company will up its R&D spending by $100 million. It will do the same in 2019 and 2020, making for a total of $300 million investments in new tech.

One of Magna’s most significant ventures is a partnership with Lyft to create an autonomous drive system that’s set to control future vehicles from the ride-hailing company. In March, Magna purchased a $200 million equity stake in Lyft, meaning it joins the likes of Bosch and Delphi in developing self-driving technologies for established automakers or ride-hailing firms, Auto News reports.

Magna believes its work with Lyft will increase its development speed of advanced driver-assist systems and real-world self-driving technologies. The knowledge gained from Magna’s work with Lyft will be put to use with other future Magna customers.

Magna has huge production facilities to complement its research and development spending

Speaking of the partnership with Lyft, Magna International chief executive Don Walker said the Canadian company stands out from other firms with autonomous ambitions.

“[The partnership] demonstrates how Magna is uniquely positioned for new mobility relative to our peers, due to our deep systems knowledge across many product lines, our leadership position in vision-based [advanced driver-assistance] systems, our proven ability to auto-qualify new technologies, and lastly, the fact that we’re the only part supplier with complete vehicle design, engineering and assembly capabilities.”

One specific area where funds from Magna’s $300 million investment will be allocated is towards solid-state lidar systems. The firm has invested in remote sensing supplier Innoviz Technologies to develop the systems, and was recently awarded a contract from BMW to provide it with solid-state lidar systems.

Magna is also handling construction of the all-electric Jaguar I-Pace at its production facility in Graz, Austria and is also working on a next-generation electric vehicle architecture with BAIC in China.

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