Toyota and Uber will pair up in a US$500 million deal to develop their own self-driving vehicles.
A combination of technology from both parties will contribute to a range of purpose-built Toyotas which will be used as Uber vehicles.
The global ride-sharing company says the initial fleet of vehicles, known as “Autono-MaaS” (autonomous-mobility as a service) will be based on Toyota's US-only mini-van, the Sienna (below).
President of Toyota Motor Corporation, TMC, Shigeki Tomoyama said combining with Uber could further advance future mobility.
“This investment marks an important milestone in our transformation to a mobility company as we help provide a path for safe and secure expansion of services like ride-sharing,” he says.
In a statement released yesterday, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, says the deal is the first of its kind for Uber and signals its commitment to producing world-class technologies to their network.
“Our goal is to deploy the world’s safest self-driving car on the Uber network, and this agreement is another significant step towards making that a reality,” he says.
Toyota had previously been testing self-driving technology, but suspended its use on public roads after a woman was killed in the US by a Volvo XC90 fitted with Uber’s self-driving tech in March.