Reports: Toyota to pump $500M into Uber for self-driving car development

August 27, 2018

Reports Monday said that Toyota will invest about $500 million into Uber in a bid to work together developing self-driving cars.

Citing "people familiar with the matter," The Wall Street Journal on Monday said that the two companies have an agreement in place. Uber and Toyota did not comment on the report.

Bloomberg reported that Toyota will supply Uber with its Sienna minivans to test Uber's self-driving technology. The vans would replace the Volvo XC90 crossover SUVs Uber currently uses.

The deal would value Uber at $72 billion, which is $10 billion more than investors said the company was worth earlier this year.

Toyota and Uber have both taken predictably different paths to developing self-driving cars. Uber's year has been especially rocky following a fatal crash involving a pedestrian in suburban Phoenix in March. After that wreck, Uber suspended its autonomous car development in Arizona and curtailed its efforts in other states.

Police in Tempe, Arizona, where the wreck occurred, said that the Volvo's automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection had been deactivated and that the human test driver behind the wheel of the vehicle was streaming a TV show on her smartphone in the moments leading up to impact.

In early 2017, Uber and Daimler announced a plan to put the German automaker's self-driving vehicles into ride-sharing fleets in the future. It's not clear if the Toyota investment will have any affect on that agreement.

Uber arch-rival Lyft counts General Motors among its major investors, but the relationship between the two is complicated, considering the fact that there is also a relationship between Lyft and Ford. GM President Dan Ammann, who is also on Lyft's board of directors, last December admitted that the two have not "fully defined" their partnership.

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