General Motors announced Monday that it would invest $500 million in ride-sharing service Lyft to help boost the automaker’s business in car-sharing companies and perhaps rental cars.
The automaker announced that the investment — roughly half of Lyft’s latest round of fundraising — would buy the automaker seat on the ride-sharing company’s board of directors. Lyft, which is based in San Francisco, is valued around $4.5 billion, which is significantly less than the $62 billion valuation for rival Uber, according to the New York Times.
GM said the companies would partner on rentals for the car-sharing company, connectivity and autonomous technology.
In a statement by the automaker, GM President Dan Ammann didn’t exactly paint a bright picture for anyone who likes to drive himself or herself anywhere — or for an automaker for that matter.
“We see the future of personal mobility as connected, seamless and autonomous,” Ammann said. “With GM and Lyft working together, we believe we can successfully implement this vision more rapidly.”
(Have we jumped the shark on “mobility” as a marketing term already? — Aaron)
The GM announcement is the latest in a line of automakers cozying to Silicon Valley to help them stay relevant in the 21st century. Ford and Google are expected to announce a new partnership within days, and Toyota announced Monday that it would integrate cellular communication into its car for a variety of features and mapping. Nissan has partnerships with Northern California-based car-sharing services too.