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Toyota, DENSO and SoftBank Vision Fund to invest $1B in Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group; automated ridesharing services

Toyota Motor Corp., DENSO Corporation and the SoftBank Vision Fund (SVF) will invest $1 billion in Uber Technologies Inc.’s Advanced Technologies Group (Uber ATG). The investment, in a newly formed ATG corporate entity, aims to accelerate the development and commercialization of automated ridesharing services.

Under the terms, Toyota and DENSO will together invest $667 million and SVF will invest $333 million, valuing the new Uber ATG entity at $7.25 billion on a post-money basis.

Toyota invested $500 million in Uber in August 2018, when the two companies announced their intention to bring pilot-scale deployments of automated Toyota Sienna-based ridesharing vehicles to the Uber ridesharing network in 2021, leveraging the strengths of Uber ATG’s self-driving technology alongside the Toyota Guardian™ advanced safety support system.

The further investment and expanded partnership builds upon the 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 will also contribute up to an additional $300 million over the next three years to help cover the costs related to these activities.

Toyota is dedicated to realizing a safe and secure future mobility society. 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, such as Toyota Guardian, will enable us to commercialize safer, lower cost automated ridesharing vehicles and services. We believe that the combined work of Toyota, DENSO, and Uber ATG on developing next-generation autonomous vehicle hardware will accelerate the timeline for and early success of automated ridesharing services.

—Shigeki Tomoyama, Toyota executive vice president and president of Toyota’s in-house Connected Company

The transaction is expected to close in Q3 of calendar year 2019.

Comments

HarveyD

Well managed ride sharing 6 to 10 passengers e-ADVs could become one of the best solution to reduce pollution, GHGs and traffic density in city streets.

gryf

the Toyota Group’s vehicle control system technology, mass-production capability, and advanced safety support systems, such as Toyota Guardian, will enable us to commercialize safer, lower cost automated ridesharing vehicles and services. We believe that the combined work of Toyota, DENSO, and Uber ATG on developing next-generation autonomous vehicle hardware
What! No mention of Toyota's great SOFTWARE! The combination of Toyota and Uber developing autonomous vehicles brings great images. First, remember the Toyota Unintended Acceleration lawsuit which after experts reviewed Toyota’s software engineering process and the source code for the 2005 Toyota Camry, concluded that the system was defective and dangerous, check here.
Uber has problems too, remember the pedestrian death in Tempe, AZ and that was only Level 3 autonomous driving.
So I am not expecting great things from this alliance except if you see a Toyota/Uber on the road be very cautious.

Lad

Toyota is disappointing when it comes to EVs; perhaps they don't have a battery supplier, perhaps they are delaying as long as possible to sell ICEVs, who knows; but, management doesn't appear to be able to get past hybrids?
I was concerned about Ford being behind, maybe it's Toyota that doesn't get it.

HarveyD

Electrified all weather shared ADVs could reduce road/street accidents to an acceptable level and simultaneously reduce traffic density and travel time in most cities.

Removing all accidents may not be a possibility, specially in adverse weather conditions?

TM

I agree that software and Toyota in the same sentence makes me cringe.
Nevertheless, glad they are throwing 1B at it. At the very least, it will train people in this field who can later go work in this area at another company that might actually make progress.

SJC

Transit that serves between a taxi and a bus may work. Ride sharing is a term used so that it does not look like a taxi, it really is. Lots of suburban buses can take 14 passengers but likely have two. Those buses may be natural gas powered, but they weigh a lot and are not efficient.

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