Uber Technologies’ Advanced Technologies Group (Uber ATG), which runs the ride-sharing service, got $1 billion from a group of investors. The deal values Uber ATG at $7.25 billion on a post-investment basis.
Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) and Denso put in $677 million. SoftBank Vision Fund, probably the largest tech investment fund in the world, put in $333 million. Toyota made a previous investment of $500 in 2018 as a means to jump-start its autonomous vehicle program. Most large car companies around the world want to get leadership in the sector, a gamble that at some point people will no longer want to buy their own cars.
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 livable. 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, added:
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 commercialize safer, lower cost automated ridesharing 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 ridesharing services.
Toyota needs to hope it is not run over by the likes of General Motors and Tesla, which are already well along the road to building and marketing self-driving cars.