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Toyota's $500M Uber Investment: What You Need to Know

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Toyota's $500M Uber Investment: What You Need to Know
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Toyota Motor Corp (ADR) (NYSE: TM) is making an incremental investment in ride hailing company Uber's self-driving car project.

What Happened

Toyota announced that it has agreed with Uber Technologies to expand their existing collaboration in a bid to bring autonomous ride-sharing as a mobility service to market at scale. 

Both companies will deploy technology into purpose-built Toyota vehicles that will be used on Uber's network. 

Toyota said it is investing about $500 million in Uber.

The investment by the Japanese automaker values the ride hailing company at $72 billion, slightly ahead of the valuation implied by Softbank's funding earlier this year, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

"Uber's Autonomous Driving System and the Toyota Guardian automated safety support system will both be integrated into the Autono-MaaS vehicles," Toyota said.

The "Autono-MaaS" — autonomous-mobility as a service — fleet will be based on Toyota's Sienna minivan platform.

Why It's Important

The investment should come as a ray of hope for Uber, which had faced setbacks this year. One of the company's vehicles fatally struck a pedestrian in Arizona, forcing the company to cut back on spending on the initiative and to take test vehicles off the roads. Uber also saw some executive departures from its self-driving tech team.

What's Next

Toyota's investment in Uber and the collaboration agreement are subject to regulatory approvals.

Pilot trials are set to begin in 2021, according to the BBC.

Related Links:

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Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and Shigeki Tomoyama, executive vice president of Toyota Motor Co. and president of Toyota Connected Co. Photo by Rikki Ward Photography. 

Posted-In: autonomous vehicles AVNews Financing Tech Media Trading Ideas General Best of Benzinga

 

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