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Toyota bets big on Uber, will invest $500 million

Reports on Toyota’s plans to invest in Uber have been doing rounds for quite some time. According to the Wall Street Journal’s latest report, the automaker is set to invest $500 million on the development of driverless cars program from the ride-sharing company. WSJ added that this investment increases Uber’s value to $72 billion, compared to its recent value of $62 billion.

In May 2016, the Japanese carmaker announced a partnership with Uber, under which the companies created new leasing options for the car owners. In January 2018, Toyota said that it is working with Uber on a driverless car system. Uber is also working with Volvo and Daimler on the driverless car system.

Uber halted its self-driving car testing when a woman got killed in an accident in Arizona March this year. Last month, the San Francisco-based firm restarted its autonomous car testing by using the manual mode in self-driving cars with a driver in the car.

This deal would help Uber financially that has recently hired investment veteran Nelson Chai as its CFO who will be playing a major role in making it as a public listed company during the second half of 2019. According to Bloomberg, Toyota will supply its Sienna vehicles to Uber for testing the self-driving technology.

As driverless cars will provide cheaper mobility, the automakers are trying to partner or already partnered with those who are working on the driverless car systems. It’s worth noting that Toyota had invested $1 billion in Singapore-based ride-hailing company Grab two months ago.

The symbiosis between the automakers and ride-sharing firms are expected to provide mutual benefits for both the sides. However, the full details of Toyota’s investment in Uber are not yet disclosed.

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