Toyota is investing half a billion in Uber’s self-driving cars

Uber and Toyota were partners and apparently they like it. The two made a joint announcement that Toyota will invest another half a billion dollars in the development of the self-driving Uber service. Service, yes, not cars. They will come from Toyota and according to the press release, the ongoing collaboration is even separate from the 500 million that Toyota ‘just’ invests in Uber.

The goal is simple for Toyota: they want to catch up with their self-driving technology and through this cooperation they are still among the first in the market for ‘autonomous mobility as a service’. The two parties will now work together to specifically create a Toyota vehicle that is suitable for autonomy, specifically a variant of the Sienna minivan.

From pause on

Uber’s self-propelled project was on hold for a while, at least towards the outside world. It was stopped a while ago because a woman died after a clash with a self-driving Uber vehicle. Then a whole number of Uber drivers were fired . With this partnership it seems that Uber picks up the glove again and that probably also means that the tests with self-driving cars will start again.

How long that will take is not entirely clear, because the announcement speaks of a ‘pilot-scale deployment’ in 2021. What will happen in the three years before that we will hear fast enough, but the chance is great that some time is needed to integrate Uber’s automated driving system and the Guardian system (intended to protect the passengers) of Toyota