Mubasher: Toyota Motor Corporation on Tuesday announced that it has boosted cooperation with Uber Technologies Inc by investing around $500 million in the ride-hailing firm in a bid to develop self-driving cars.
The US car-hailing company is looking to overhaul Toyota Sienna minivans with its autonomous technology and start real-world testing in 2021, the Japanese carmaker said in a statement.
"This agreement and investment marks an important milestone in our transformation to a mobility company," Shigeki Tomoyama, the president of Toyota Connected Company, commented.
For his part, head of Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group Eric Meyhofer said the US firm has been working to bring safe, reliable self-driving technology to the Uber network since 2015.
He added that “we knew we couldn’t do it alone, which is why we continue to partner with world-class vehicle manufacturers to make our vision a reality.”
The rideshare application, which is used by millions across the world, could create a ready market for Toyota’s new cars using its app.
Commenting on the deal, Brian Collie of Boston Consulting Group said “partnerships are quite necessary and create value toward bringing mobility as a service to the market faster."