Toyota, SoftBank and auto supplier Denso announced a $1 billion investment in Uber’s Advanced Technology Group to accelerate development and commercialization of the tech giant’s automated ridesharing services.
Under the terms of the agreement, Toyota and DENSO will jointly invest $667 million and SVF will invest $333 million, valuing the new Uber ATG entity at $7.25 billion.
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said the development of this automated driving technology “will transform transportation as we know it, making our streets safer and our cities more livable.” He added that the company’s ongoing manufacturer and supplier relationships would keep Uber at the forefront of this ongoing transformation.
This news isn’t the first mega-Uber-investment from Toyota, the world’s largest automaker. It invested $500 million in Uber last August when the two companies announced plans to bring Toyota Sienna-based ridesharing vehicles to the Uber network in 2012. Toyota has previously said its further advanced Guardian automated safety technology will be available sometime in the 2020s.
This latest investment and expanded partnership builds upon progress made to date, deepening the companies’ collaboration in designing and developing next-generation autonomous vehicle hardware. It will also prepare the companies and industry for mass production and commercialization of automated ridesharing vehicles and services. Toyota may contribute an additional $300 million over the next three years to help cover the costs related to these activities.
“Leveraging the strengths of Uber ATG’s autonomous vehicle technology and service network and the Toyota Group’s vehicle control system technology, mass-production capability, and advanced safety support systems … will enable us to commercialize safer, lower cost automated ridesharing vehicles and services,” said Shigeki Tomoyama, Toyota’s executive vice president and president of Toyota’s in-house Connected Company. “We believe that the combined work of Toyota, Denso and Uber ATG on developing next-generation autonomous vehicle hardware will accelerate the timeline … of automated ridesharing services.”