Magna acquires tech, hires engineers of autonomous vehicle startup Optimus Ride

Magna has acquired the technology, IP and assets of Optimus Ride, a startup based in Boston that was trying to commercialize electric autonomous shuttles. As part of the deal announced Tuesday, Magna has hired more than 120 employees of Optimus Ride. The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed,

Optimus Ride CEO Sean Harrington will not make the jump over to Magna and the AV startup will cease its operations.

Magna aims to leverage the tech and expertise from Optimus Ride to beef up its efforts in advanced driver assistance systems — technology that is in high demand. Magna has been keen to build out its ADAS offerings; last year the company tried to acquire Swedish automotive tech company Veoneer, but was nudged out by Qualcomm. Veoneer’s Arriver tech — an advanced driver assistance system stack that includes sensors and software — was sold to Qualcomm, while the Swedish company’s other Tier 1 supplier businesses were retained by investment group SSW Partners.

“Growing our engineering bench strength in sensing hardware and software helps accelerate our path forward in a rapidly growing ADAS market,” John O’Hara, president of Magna Electronics, said in a statement.

The former Optimus Ride engineers will remain in Boston. Magna will use this new team to establish a Boston-based engineering center, which in turn could help the company attract more software and robotics talent.

“As advancements in autonomy continue, we saw an opportunity to bring in additional expertise to support current programs as well as future customer needs. We are happy to welcome the Optimus Ride employees to the Magna family,” O’Hara added.