Japanese car maker Toyota has announced that it is investing with ride share company Uber.
Although the level of investment is not clear, it’s likely Toyota is betting big in Uber and has said that it’s not just about providing cars to Uber drivers. While clearly sales to Uber drivers will form part of the company’s plan, Toyota has insisted the two companies will also be sharing knowledge and research to speed up efforts in developing driverless cars, as well as partnering in the development of new technology and in car apps.
Toyota’s deal with Uber follows a spate of car manufacturers investing in ride sharing services, with Volkswagen also stepping up to announce an investment in Israeli rideshare company Gett. A Volkswagen spokesperson said “The ride-hailing market represents the greatest market potential in on-demand mobility, while creating the technological platform for developing tomorrow’s mobility business models.”
Other recent investments in ride sharing companies include Apple’s $1bn investment in the Chinese service Didi Chuxing, though this investment is seen by some as a political attempt by Apple to boost its presence in the large Chinese market.
General Motors also announced back in March that it invested $500m is Lyft, a US based Uber rival, with the partnership aiming to help develop a network of on demand self driving vehicles.