The Japanese automaker company has invested a humongous $500 million to the global taxi service company Uber in order to bring the most demanded autonomous ride-hailing service into the market.
Under this big partnership, the Sienna minivans of Toyota will now be equipped with the magnificent self-driving service of Uber. After this technologically advanced collaboration, the new solution will be used for ride-hailing company’s network.
This joint effort by Toyota and Uber to develop a self-driving car is also an approach to tackle their competitors who are making their way into the driverless car market. It is because of this deal, why Uber is now valued at $72 billion even after the mounting losses which it faced recently.
It is being said the pilot testing of these driverless cars will begin in 2021. The executive vice president of Toyota Motor Corporation Shigeki Tomoyama, said: “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.”
With competitors like Waymo, owned by Alphabet, both Uber and Toyota seemed to be lagging behind in the race of building and implementing driverless car technology. But this is not the first time when Uber has tried to launch an automated, but the previous efforts of Uber have resulted in the death of a pedestrian in March. After this fatal accident, Uber closed its autonomous car project and stopped its services in Arizona operations.
Uber was in need of external efforts in order to make their dream of launching driverless cars and this partnership from Toyota can turn out to be the right opportunity for them. In order to make their autonomous project successful, Uber was recently sinking almost $1m-$2m in a month and the results from such gigantic investment didn’t show any positive signs as they faced a fatal car accident, expensive lawsuit and no progress in comparison to their biggest computer Waymo.
According to the recent reports, it is being said that the US firm has also extended hands of partnership towards Daimler, which will operate its own self-driving cars on Uber network. So even after a bad experience with the autonomous car concept, Uber is looking keen to mark their presence in this new and innovative industry.
But Toyota is going to use a completely different approach from its competitors while developing the autonomous cars. They are going to use the dual approach to autonomy, which is being called as “Gaurdian” and “Chaufeur”.
The CEO at Toyota Research Institute, Dr. Gill Pratt said “Uber’s automated driving system and Toyota’s guardian system will independently monitor the vehicle environment and real-time situation, enhancing overall vehicle safety for both the automated driver and the vehicle,”