Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) and Uber Technologies, Inc. (Uber) has announced their collaboration in order to expand with the aim of advancing and bringing to market autonomous ride-sharing as a mobility service at scale. Toyota is investing $500 million in Uber and technology from each company will be integrated into purpose-built Toyota vehicles to be deployed on Uber's ride-sharing network to accomplish the goal.
Talking about the investment, Shigeki Tomoyama, executive vice president, TMC, and president, Toyota Connected Company said, "Combining efforts with Uber, one of the predominant global ride-sharing and automated driving R&D companies, could further advance future mobility. 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."
However, this partnership will be critical in realizing self-driving technology at scale as both the companies look ahead to a self-driving future. Also, Uber and Toyota both anticipate that the mass-produced autonomous vehicles will be owned and operated by mutually agreed upon third party autonomous fleet operators. As part of an agreement, both the companies would work on autonomous cars aimed at improving safety and lowering transportation costs.
Sharing his views on the same, Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber's CEO 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."
Initially, the "Autono-MaaS" (autonomous-mobility as a service) fleet will be based on Toyota's Sienna Minivan platform, while Uber's Autonomous Driving System and the Toyota Guardian automated safety support system will both be integrated into the Autono-MaaS vehicles. Mobility Services Platform (MSPF), Toyota’s core information infrastructure for connected vehicles will also be utilized. However, the Pilot-scale deployments will begin on the Uber ride-sharing network in 2021.
Also, commenting on the initiative, Dr. Gill Pratt, Toyota Research Institute CEO and TMC Fellow said, "Uber's automated driving system and Toyota's Guardian system will independently monitor the vehicle environment and real-time situation, enhancing overall vehicle safety for both the automated driver and the vehicle. We look forward to this partnership accelerating both companies' development and deployment of automated driving technology."
One important thing to notice here is that Toyota's investment in Uber and the proposed collaboration are subject to standard regulatory approvals. Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) is the global mobility company, headquartered in Toyota City, Japan, the automaker has been making cars since 1937. Currently, Toyota build around 10 million vehicles per year in 27 countries and regions, from mainstream cars and premium vehicles to mini-vehicles and commercial trucks, and sell them in more than 170 countries and regions under the brands Toyota, Lexus, Daihatsu and Hino. On the other hand, Uber was started with a goal to provide transportation at the touch of button. The taxi provider have completed 5 billion trips and remain committed to building a platform that enables the safe, efficient movement of people around the world. The Advanced Technologies Group (ATG) is comprised of world-class engineering talent dedicated to vehicle safety, self-driving software, mapping, and more. Uber is taking a holistic approach to bringing self-driving vehicles to market through a variety of partnerships, with the ultimate goal of creating autonomous ridesharing at scale.
Stay tuned to V3cars.com for further details on the initiative by Toyota and Uber.