- Toyota is investing $500 million into Uber, according to The Wall Street Journal.
- The investment round values Uber at $72 billion, The Journal said.
- Toyota and Uber are said to be partnering to develop self-driving car technology, an area where Uber has struggled.
Toyota will invest $500 million into Uber at a mammoth $72 billion valuation, the two companies announced on Monday, alongside a partnership developing autonomous-vehicle technology. The news was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.
Uber’s tech will be integrated into custom-built Toyota vehicles that will be used for a network of self-driving cars, with the first pilots scheduled for 2021.
Uber and the Japanese auto giant have previously been in talks about both self-driving technology and more-general opportunities. Toyota invested in Uber in 2016 alongside an auto-leasing deal. And a report in March said Uber was discussing selling self-driving tech to the company.
The deal is the first of its kind for Uber, and signals our commitment to bringing world-classtechnologies to the Uber network,” said Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi in a statement. “Our goal is to deploy theworld’s safest self-driving cars on the Uber network, and this agreement is anothersignificantsteptowards making that a reality. Uber’s advanced technology and Toyota’s commitment to safety andits renowned manufacturing prowess make this partnership a natural fit. I look forward to seeingwhat our teams accomplish together.”
Uber has previously been valued at $69 billion in a private venture-capital investment round, though SoftBank invested in the California firm in December at a $48 billion valuation.
Uber has said it considers self-driving technology crucial to its future – but it has had a bumpy ride.
It was caught up in a high-profile trade-secrets lawsuit over Anthony Levandowski, an executive it hired away from Waymo, the self-driving-car startup spun out of Google. And in March, one of Uber’s self-driving vehicles hit and killed a woman in Arizona in what appeared to be the first pedestrian fatality involving an autonomous vehicle.