Uber announced late last week that it landed a $1 billion investment from Toyota, DENSO and the SoftBank Vision Fund.
On Twitter, Uber Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi announced the investment, saying the companies are jointly working toward “the future of mobility.” In a press relase, the companies said they are investing $1 billion in Uber Technologies’ Advanced Technologies Group or Uber ATG. The investment in the newly formed unit aims to speed up the development and commercialization of automated ridesharing services.
Under the terms of the deal, Toyota and DENSO will invest $667 million and the SoftBank Vision Fund will invest $333 million. The investment gives Uber ATG a valuation of $7.25 billion on a post-money basis, Uber said in the press release. “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,” Khosrowshahi said in the press release. “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.”
The investment is aimed at deepening the collaboration between the companies to design and develop next-generation autonomous vehicle hardware. It will prepare the companies and the industry for mass production and commercialization of automated ridesharing vehicles and services, the companies said in the press release. Toyota also plans to contribute an additional $300 million over the next three years to help cover the costs of the activities.
“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,” said Shigeki Tomoyama, Toyota executive vice president and president of Toyota’s in-house Connected Company, in the same press release. “We believe that the combined work of Toyota, DENSO, and Uber ATG on developing next-generation autonomous vehicle hardware will accelerate the timeline for an early success of automated ridesharing services.” Earlier in the week reports surfaced about the investment in the Uber unit.