The plan includes integrating technology from each company into purpose-built Toyota vehicles that will be deployed on Uber’s ride-sharing network. As both Toyota and Uber look to the future, this partnership is seen as crucial to delivering self-driving technology at scale.
Uber and Toyota both believe that mass-produced autonomous vehicles will be owned and operated by mutually agreed upon third party autonomous fleet operators.
On a separate note, Toyota has also announced plans to invest $500 million in Uber.
“Combining efforts with Uber, one of the predominant global ride-sharing and automated driving R&D companies, could further advance future mobility,” said Shigeki Tomoyama, Executive Vice President, TMC, and President, Toyota Connected Company. “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.”
“The deal is the first of its kind for Uber and signals our commitment to bringing world-class technologies to the Uber network,” said Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber’s CEO. “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.”
The initial “Autono-MaaS” (autonomous-mobility as a service) fleet will be based on Toyota’s Sienna Minivan platform. Uber’s Autonomous Driving System and the Toyota Guardian automated safety support system will both be integrated into the Autono-MaaS vehicles. Toyota will also utilize its Mobility Services Platform (MSPF), its core information infrastructure for connected vehicles. Pilot-scale deployments on the Uber ride-sharing network are scheduled to begin in 2021.