TOKYO: Japanese car giant Toyota and investment fund SoftBank Vision Fund on Friday unveiled an investment of $1 billion in US company Uber to drive forward the development of driverless ridesharing services.
The latest cash injection, expected to close in the third quarter this year, came amid fevered anticipation of Uber’s public share offering which is expected to be the largest in the tech sector for years, reports AFP.Toyota has already invested $500 million in Uber as the firm races Google- owned Waymo and a host of other companies, including major automakers, to develop self-driving vehicles.
The latest investment, which also involves Japanese parts maker DENSO, will go to Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group in a bid to “accelerate the development and commercialisation of automated ridesharing,” the firms said in a statement.
Toyota and DENSO are stumping up $667 million and SoftBank Vision Fund, the investment arm of Japanese tycoon Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank, will pour $333 million into the venture. It is already the top shareholder in Uber, holding 16 percent.
The Japanese car firm said it would also contribute “an additional $300 million over the next three years to help cover the costs related to these activities.”
Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi said driverless cars would “transform transportation as we know it, making our streets safer and our cities more liveable.”