Toyota invests $500 million in Uber for Automated vehicle technologies

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 28 Aug 2018

L-R: Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber's CEO and Shigeki Tomoyama, executive vice president, TMC, and president, Toyota Connected Company

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) and Uber Technologies, (Uber) today announced that they have agreed to expand their collaboration for bringing to market autonomous ride-sharing as a mobility service at scale. To accomplish this, technology from each company will be integrated into purpose-built Toyota vehicles to be deployed on Uber's ride-sharing network. Toyota is investing $500 million (Rs 3,504 crore) in Uber.

Commenting on the investment of $500 million in Uber, Shigeki Tomoyama, executive vice president, TMC, and president, Toyota Connected Company, said,  "This agreement and investment marks an important milestone in our transformation to a mobility company as we help provide a path for safe and secure expansion of mobility services like ride-sharing that includes Toyota vehicles and technologies."

As Uber and Toyota look ahead to a self-driving future, this partnership will be critical in realising self-driving technology at scale. Uber and Toyota anticipate that the mass-produced autonomous vehicles will be owned and operated by mutually agreed upon third party autonomous fleet operators.

Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber's CEO said, "Our goal is to deploy the world's safest self-driving cars on the Uber network, and this agreement is another significant step towards making that a reality. Uber's advanced technology and Toyota's commitment to safety and its renowned manufacturing prowess make this partnership a natural fit.”

Technology integration between Toyota and Uber

The initial 'Autono-MaaS' (autonomous-mobility as a service) fleet will be based on Toyota's Sienna minivan platform. Uber's autonomous driving system and the Toyota 'Guardian' automated safety support system will both be integrated into the Autono-MaaS vehicles. Toyota will also utilise its Mobility Services Platform (MSPF), its core information infrastructure for connected vehicles. Pilot-scale deployments will begin on the Uber ride-sharing network in 2021.

Dr Gill Pratt, Toyota Research Institute CEO and TMC Fellow, said, “We look forward to this partnership accelerating both companies' development and deployment of automated driving technology."

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