The investment aims to expedite the deployment of automated ride-sharing services
Toyota Motor Corp., DENSO Corporation and the SoftBank Vision Fund (SVF) have announced an investment of US$1 billion in Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group (Uber ATG).
Under the terms, Toyota and DENSO will together invest US$667 million and SVF will invest US$333 million, valuing the new Uber ATG entity at US$7.25 billion on a post-money basis.
Toyota invested US$500 million in Uber in August 2018, when the two companies announced their intention to bring pilot-scale deployments of automated Toyota Sienna-based ride-sharing vehicles to the Uber ride-sharing network in 2021, leveraging the strengths of Uber ATG’s self-driving technology alongside the Toyota Guardian™ advanced safety support system.
This further investment and expanded partnership builds upon the progress made to date, deepening the companies’ collaboration in designing and developing next-generation autonomous vehicle hardware. Toyota will also contribute up to an additional US$300 million over the next three years to help cover the costs related to these activities.
Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber, said: “This investment and our strong partnership with the Toyota Group are a testament to the incredible work of our ATG team to date, and the exciting future ahead for this important project, alongside great partners. The development of automated driving technology will transform transportation as we know it, making our streets safer and our cities more liveable. Today’s announcement, along with our ongoing OEM and supplier relationships, will help maintain Uber’s position at the forefront of that transformation.”
Shigeki Tomoyama, Toyota executive vice president and president of Toyota’s in-house Connected Company stated: “Toyota is dedicated to realizing a safe and secure future mobility society. Leveraging the strengths of Uber ATG’s autonomous vehicle technology and service network and the Toyota Group’s vehicle control system technology, mass-production capability, and advanced safety support systems, such as Toyota Guardian™, will enable us to commercialise safer, lower cost automated ride-sharing vehicles and services. We believe that the combined work of Toyota, DENSO, and Uber ATG on developing next-generation autonomous vehicle hardware will accelerate the timeline for and early success of automated ride-sharing services.”
Hiroyuki Wakabayashi, executive vice president of DENSO said: “Among the biggest challenges facing automated driving, most lie in how to implement both the hardware and the software at scale. DENSO, as a global automotive supplier, is excited to collaborate with Uber ATG and Toyota to develop advanced automated driving hardware that we believe will transform future mobility.”
The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2019.