Published On: Wed, May 25th, 2016

Toyota has made a strategic investment in Uber

Key Speakers At The Institute of Directors Annual Convention

Toyota Motor said on Tuesday it has made a strategic investment in the company. The company would not disclose the amount.

As part of its investment, Toyota and Uber will create new leasing options in which Uber drivers can lease vehicles with flexible terms from Toyota Financial Services and cover their payments through their Uber earnings, the companies said in a joint statement.

The program is an extension of an existing program Uber has already established called the Vehicle Solutions program. As part of the collaboration, Toyota Motor Corporation will sell a fleet of Lexus and Toyota cars to Uber.

The companies did not disclose the size of the investment, but thier partnership will go beyond just vehicle sales.

The companies said they would be “sharing knowledge and accelerating their respective research efforts.” Both Toyota and Uber are researching self-driving cars and other technology that connects travelers to different modes of transportation.

Traditional automakers are racing to ally with ride-sharing companies to avoid becoming bystanders if a significant number of consumers around the world choose to forego vehicle ownership and buy transportation by the mile or the minute.

Earlier this week, German automaker Volkswagen announced a $300 million investment in smaller Israeli aride-sharing company Gett.

Earlier in 2016, GM invested $500 million in Lyft,  Uber’s main rival in the U.S. The two companies said they develop of an on-demand network of self-driving cars. GM executives have said the partnership could serve as a platform to launch its new electric car Chevy Bolt, to be launched late this year.

Lyft CEO and co-founder John Zimmer said that he expects the first iteration of the network of semi-autonomous cars to hit the roads at the end of 2016.

 

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