Toyota is reported to have invested $500 million into ride-hailing company, Uber. The transaction values Uber at $72 billion, $10 billion higher than how much Uber was valued earlier in 2018 when SoftBank Group invested in the ride-hailing company.

According to the reports citing an anonymous source with alleged knowledge of the agreement between Uber and Toyota, Toyota will manufacture its Sienna brand of minivans they, in turn, will be fitted with Uber’s self-driving technology. Another company, which has not yet been identified by name, will operate the Uber fleet of Toyota manufactured self-driving cars.

Uber's self-driving cars plan

The agreement between Uber and Toyota comes not so long after the ride-hailing company announced that it is shutting down its self-driving trucks division as it will be stopping the development of self-driving trucks to focus its self-driving technology on cars. This, in hindsight, might suggest that talks between the two companies had already commenced at the end of July 2018 when Uber made the announcement regarding its self-driving trucks division. This could be a coincidence.

There's also a matter of how in March 2018 a 49-year-old woman was in Arizona was hit by a self-driving Uber car and died as a result. This led to Uber suspending its self-driving car testing in cities in the northern parts of the USA.

Uber Africa representatives and staff were not available for comment at the time of publishing.

This is a developing story.


Cover image credit: Sindre Strøm