Toyota has signed a deal to invest an additional $500m into its existing partnership with Uber and has announced its agreement to expand its collaboration in an effort to advance the development of autonomous-mobility as a service (Autono-MaaS) at scale.
The advancement of this technology will be integrated into Toyota's purpose-built Uber ride-sharing network, based on Toyota's Sienna Minivan platform.
Both companies have voiced their goal of achieving a future free of human drivers, with Toyota even mentioning their aim to transition from a car manufacturer into a "mobility service provider" at one of their events a few months ago. Uber and Toyota believe this partnership will be instrumental to realizing their goal of mass-produced autonomous vehicles, ideally, before anyone else.
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Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO at Uber, said: "The deal is the first of its kind for Uber, and signals our commitment to bringing world-class technologies to the Uber network.
"Our goal is to deploy the world's safest self-driving cars on the Uber network, and this agreement is another significant step towards making that a reality. Uber's advanced technology and Toyota's commitment to safety and its renowned manufacturing prowess make this partnership a natural fit. I look forward to seeing what our teams accomplish together."
The development of driverless cars will involve the integration of Uber's Autonomous Driving System and the Toyota Guardian automated safety support system. Additionally, Uber will leverage Toyota's Mobility Services Platform, a cloud-based digital platform with core information infrastructure for smart vehicles.
The collaboration and investment are currently pending standard regulatory approval with aim begin pilot-scale driverless cars in 2021.