Japanese auto major Toyota Motor to invest $ 500 million in ridesharing firm Uber. Pilot-scale deployments of autonomous vehicles is expected to begin on the Uber ride-sharing network in 2021.
Japanese auto major Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) and Uber Technologies Inc have agreed to expand their collaboration with the aim of advancing and 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.
Meanwhile, Toyota Motor will also invest $ 500 million in Uber, the San Francisco-headquartered peer-to-peer ridesharing, food delivery and transportation network company.
"Combining efforts with Uber, one of the predominant global ride-sharing and automated driving R&D companies, could further advance future mobility. 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,” said Shigeki Tomoyama, Executive Vice President, TMC, and President, Toyota Connected Company.
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, CEO, Uber, commented, “The deal is the first of its kind for Uber, and signals our commitment to bringing world-class technologies to the Uber network. 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. I look forward to seeing what our teams accomplish together."
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 utilize its Mobility Services Platform (MSPF), its core information infrastructure for connected vehicles. Pilot-scale deployments is expected to begin on the Uber ride-sharing network in 2021.
Dr Gill Pratt, Toyota Research Institute CEO and TMC Fellow, added, "Uber's automated driving system and Toyota's Guardian system will independently monitor the vehicle environment and real-time situation, enhancing overall vehicle safety for both the automated driver and the vehicle. We look forward to this partnership accelerating both companies' development and deployment of automated driving technology.”
Uber's mission is to bring reliable transportation to everyone, everywhere. The company started in 2010 to solve a simple problem: how can a customer get a ride at the touch of a button? Since then, the company has completed 5 billion trips and remains committed to building a platform that enables the safe, efficient movement of people around the world. “Today, the team at the Advanced Technologies Group (ATG) is tackling another challenge: how do you build and deploy self-driving technology at scale? The ATG is comprised of world-class engineering talent dedicated to vehicle safety, self-driving software, mapping, and more. Uber is taking a holistic approach to bringing self-driving vehicles to market through a variety of partnerships, with the ultimate goal of creating autonomous ridesharing at scale,” said Uber press release.
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.
Executive VP, Toyota Motor