Toyota pours $500M into driverless car tieup with Uber

Toyota pours $500M into driverless car tieup with Uber

Toyota pours $500M into driverless car tieup with Uber

"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", Shigeki Tomoyama, president of Toyota Connected Company, said in a statement. And a report in March said Uber was discussing selling self-driving tech to the company.

Uber declined to comment on the deal. And the deal with Toyota becomes a third pillar, where Uber licenses its technology. Incidentally, Uber was valued at the time of the Google investment at $72 billion and the same has been retained for the Toyota investment now as well. SoftBank's founder, Masayoshi Son, has poured as much as $9.5 billion into Didi, led a $9.3 billion investment in Uber and also has stakes in Grab and India's Ola. 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. The company has previously said it plans to take a dual approach to autonomy that it calls "Guardian" and "Chauffeur", both of which use the same technology stack.

Uber suspended its self-driving auto programme after a crash in March, which killed a woman pushing a bicycle in a street in the USA state of Arizona.

Toyota's idea is to develop fully autonomous cars to serve an aging population and the disabled as well as work on technology for regular production cars that could switch between assisted and full autonomy.

The pair aim to begin pilot-scale deployments of the autonomous vehicles on Uber's ride-sharing network in 2021. As a result, it has partnered with "world-class vehicle manufacturers to make our vision a reality".

Uber has developed a three-pronged self-driving strategy. These services include being able to monitor whether a vehicle is being properly maintained or driven too aggressively. In another, Daimler AG will own and operate its own self-driving cars on Uber's network. The company suspended all of its testing on public roads, however, after a self-driving Uber vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian in Arizona earlier this year. Uber had deactivated Volvo's automatic braking system in that vehicle, which raised questions about safety.

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