Toyota and Uber to develop and deploy an autonomous ride-sharing service
Uber’s self-driving technology will be alongside Toyota Guardian technology in vehicles built for deployment on Uber’s ride-sharing network.
Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber CEO (left) and Shigeki Tomoyama, TMC Executive Vice President (right)
To accomplish this, technology from each company will be integrated into purpose-built Toyota vehicles which will be deployed on Uber’s ride-sharing network.
Separately, Toyota has decided 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 of TMC and President of 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 the safe and secure expansion of mobility services like ride-sharing.”
This partnership between Uber and Toyota will be critical in realising self-driving technology at scale. Both companies anticipate that the mass-produced autonomous vehicles will be owned and operated by mutually agreed upon third party autonomous fleet operators.
“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 progress make this partnership a natural fit.”
The initial ‘Autono-MaaS’ 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 vehicles. Toyota will also utilise its Mobility Services Platform (MSPF), its core information infrastructure for connected vehicles.
Pilot-scale deployments are expected to begin on Uber’s ride-sharing network in 2021.
“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,” said Dr. Gill Pratt, Toyota Research Institute CEO and TMC Fellow.
Toyota’s investment in Uber and the proposed collaboration are subject to standard regulatory approvals.