In May, 2016, auto giant Toyota announced that it would be entering a partnership with Uber. The partnership saw Uber and Toyota working on creating new leasing options that would allow Uber drivers lease vehicles with Toyota Financial Services providing financing to these drivers. This leasing program is flexible and drivers can cover their payments through their Uber earnings. Uber and Toyota’s partnership is obviously profitable to both parties as Toyota is investing $500 million in Uber to deliver self-driving cars.
Uber has been investing heavily in driverless car projects and mapping technology. Toyota on the other hand has been opening research centers in several places in the U.S and also devised a plan to spend about $1 billion over a 5-year period on research and development of artificial intelligence, robotics and developing self-driving cars.
More about Toyota’s $500M investment in Uber
This investment will help accelerate Uber’s development of self-driving vehicles as the rideshare giant plans to launch a self-driven vehicle pilot by 2021. For Toyota, an alliance like this is very necessary given that Uber and other rideshare companies are big threats to automakers. The company also faces huge obstacles in the future if self-driving vehicles become a transportation norm.
We have learnt that Uber will be tasked with fitting Toyota’s Sienna Minivans with self-driving technology. This investment comes at a great time for Uber whose semi-autonomous vehicle project came to a halt in Arizona after one of its cars killed a woman.
Toyota’s $500M investment in Uber can help cushion expenses that are bound to be incurred while developing and deploying self-driving vehicles. Obviously, both companies have a common interest in self-driving cars and it is only necessary that both sides take advantage of this partnership to reach their shared goal.
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