Toyota leads DENSO, SoftBank Vision Fund $1bn Uber deal


Japanese car giant Toyota, investment fund SoftBank Vision Fund Toyota Motor Corp. (Toyota) and DENSO Corporation (DENSO) and are to invest $1 billion in Uber Technologies Inc.’s Advanced Technologies Group (Uber ATG). The transaction is expected to close in Q3 this year.

The investment, in a newly formed ATG corporate entity, aims to accelerate the development and commercialization of automated ridesharing services.

Under the terms, Toyota and DENSO will together invest $667 million and SVF will invest $333 million, valuing the new Uber ATG entity at $7.25 billion on a post-money basis.

In August 2018, Toyota invested $500 million in Uber, when the two companies announced their intention to bring pilot-scale deployments of automated Toyota Sienna-based ridesharing vehicles to the Uber ridesharing network in 2021, leveraging the strengths of Uber ATG’s self-driving technology alongside the Toyota Guardian advanced safety support system.

The additional investment and expanded partnership builds upon the progress made to date, deepening the companies’ collaboration in designing and developing next-generation autonomous vehicle hardware.

It will also prepare the companies and industry for mass production and commercialization of automated ridesharing vehicles and services. Toyota will also contribute up to an additional $300 million over the next three years to help cover the costs related to these activities.

According to Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber, the investment and our strong partnership with the Toyota Group are a testament to the incredible work of Uber ATG team to date, and the exciting future ahead for this important project, alongside great the partners.

‘’The development of automated driving technology will transform transportation as we know it, making our streets safer and our cities more livable. The, along with ongoing OEM and supplier relationships, will help maintain Uber’s position at the forefront of that transformation.” He said.

Shigeki Tomoyama, Toyota executive vice president and president of Toyota’s in-house Connected Company maintained that Toyota is dedicated to realizing a safe and secure future mobility society.

He also noted that leveraging the strengths of Uber ATG’s autonomous vehicle technology and service network and the Toyota Group’s vehicle control system technology, mass-production capability, and advanced safety support systems, such as Toyota Guardian, will enable the automaker to commercialize safer, lower cost automated ridesharing vehicles and services.

‘’We believe that the combined work of Toyota, DENSO, and Uber ATG on developing next-generation autonomous vehicle hardware will accelerate the timeline for and early success of automated ridesharing services.” The company official said.

Hiroyuki Wakabayashi, executive vice president of DENSO said, “Among the biggest challenges facing automated driving, most lie in how to implement both the hardware and the software at scale. DENSO, as a global automotive supplier, is excited to collaborate with Uber ATG and Toyota to develop advanced automated driving hardware that we believe will transform future mobility.”

Rajeev Misra, CEO of the SoftBank Vision Fund said, “The team at Uber ATG has made significant progress developing highly robust automated ridesharing technology. With a comprehensive platform of hardware and software, the largest global ridesharing network and Toyota’s partnership, this collaboration is well-positioned to deploy automated ridesharing services at scale.”