To accomplish this, technology from each company will be integrated into purpose-built Toyota vehicles to be deployed on Uber’s ride-sharing network. Separately, Toyota is investing $500 million in Uber.
“Combining efforts with Uber, one of the predominant global ride-sharing and automated driving R&D companies, could further advance future mobility,” said Shigeki Tomoyama, executive vice president, TMC, and president, Toyota Connected Company.
As Uber and Toyota look ahead to a self-driving future, this partnership will be critical in realizing self-driving technology at scale. Uber and Toyota anticipate that the mass-produced autonomous vehicles will be owned and operated by mutually-agreed-upon third-party autonomous fleet operators.
The initial “Autono-MaaS” (autonomous-mobility as a service) fleet will be based on Toyota’s Sienna Minivan platform. Uber’s Autonomous Driving System and the Toyota Guardian automated safety support system will both be integrated into the Autono-MaaS vehicles.
Toyota will also use its Mobility Services Platform (MSPF), its core information infrastructure for connected vehicles. Pilot-scale deployments will begin on the Uber ride-sharing network in 2021.
“Uber’s automated driving system and Toyota’s Guardian system will independently monitor the vehicle environment and real-time situation, enhancing overall vehicle safety for both the automated driver and the vehicle,” said Dr. Gill Pratt, Toyota Research Institute CEO and TMC Fellow. “We look forward to this partnership accelerating both companies’ development and deployment of automated driving technology.”
Toyota’s investment in Uber and the proposed collaboration are subject to standard regulatory approvals.