Toyota Motor Corp. will invest $500 million Uber Technologies, Inc. to speed up efforts to bring an autonomous ride-hailing service to market. Each company will integrate its technology into purpose-built Toyota Sienna minivans that will be deployed on Uber's network, Toyota has announced.
The partnership will allow Uber to integrate its technology into Toyota vehicles alongside Toyota Guardian autonomous vehicle technology that the automaker has already been developing. The $500 million will arrive as a separate investment.
Mass-produced autonomous vehicles will be owned and operated by third party autonomous fleet operators that will be mutually selected by Toyota and Uber, according to the companies. That would be a new business model for Uber.
"Our expanded partnership with Toyota signals our commitment to deploying self-driving technology at scale for our riders around the globe," according to a statement from Uber.
Earlier this year, Uber shelved plans to develop a fleet of autonomous ride-hailing vehicles, after one of its test vehicle struck and killed a passenger in Arizona.
Originally posted on Automotive Fleet