Toyota will reportedly invest $500 million in Uber

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The Japanese automaker is investing $500 million in Uber, the companies said on Monday. It is possible that this service may start by the end of this calendar year.

Nevertheless, reports had suggested the ride-hailing juggernaut would resume testing shortly, and now the company has confirmed they have a major new partner.

The logo of Uber is pictured during the presentation of their new security measures in Mexico City, Mexico April 10, 2018.

Automakers and tech companies continue scrambling to position themselves for a future in which vehicle ownership gives way to mobility as a service. Toyota's investment values Uber at $72bn, despite mounting losses that totalled $4.5bn in 2017. Japan's SoftBank invested $1.25 billion in the ride-hailing company earlier this year, giving Uber roughly the same valuation. The investment will reportedly focus on autonomous-vehicle technology. Carmakers bring two advantages: knowledge of how to build a vehicle and the factories to do it. The fact remains that Toyota itself is being seen as a bit lagging in the progress made on the development of autonomous technology though it has a research division dedicated to it. Amazon.com Inc. and Pizza Hut also signed on. A group of investors had valued Uber at $62 billion earlier this year. "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". Driverless technology from both companies will be integrated into Toyota vehicles, which will be used in Uber's fleet. Toyota Financial Services has been providing incentives to Uber drivers to purchase the company's vehicles.




Toyota has stated that the initial "Autono-MaaS" (autonomous-mobility as a service) fleet will be based on Toyota's Sienna Minivan platform. These services include being able to monitor whether a auto is being properly maintained or driven too aggressively.

The partnership will be "critical in realising self-driving technology at scale", Toyota said.

Uber has developed a three-pronged self-driving strategy.

Uber has said it considers self-driving technology crucial to its future - but it has had a bumpy ride. And the deal with Toyota becomes a third pillar, where Uber licenses its technology. Earlier this year, Uber closed its self-driving vehicle unit's Arizona operations and laid off about 400 test drivers.

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