Toyota to Offer Self-driving Tech to Ride-hailing Firms

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Toyota Motor Corp. is looking at the possibility of offering autonomous driving technologies to ride-hailing companies, according to reports on May 16.

This is part of the Japanese automaker’s expansion efforts to become a company that does not only offer cars but also mobility services.

Toyota has partnered with US ride-hailing giant Uber Technologies Inc. to develop a new driverless system which the automaker is planning to supply to other ride-hailing companies such as Grab Taxi Holdings Pte Ltd of Singapore and ANI Technologies Pvt Ltd’s Ola of India.

Additionally, Toyota will be investing $1 billion in Uber’s new subsidiary with the goal of developing self-driving vehicles where they will be joined by SoftBank Group Corp. SoftBank Group is Uber’s largest shareholder and has also previously invested in Grab and Ola. Toyota is also a stakeholder in Grab, which dominates ride-hailing services across Southeast Asia.

Toyota has partnered with US ride-hailing company Uber Technologies Inc. to develop a new driverless system, which the automaker plans to make available for other ride-hailing firms.

This brings Toyota closer to its goals of widening its scope of business to offering advanced mobility services that would eventually lead to “driverless taxis”.

Aside from a self-driving technology, Toyota also partnered with SoftBank Corp., the mobile phone arm of SoftBank Group, in developing other services using self-driving vehicles as well as other automotive technologies.

Although SoftBank Group was revealed to have invested in China’s leading ride-hailing firm, Didi Chuxing Technology Co., Toyota thinks it could be difficult to supply new technologies developed by a U.S. company to a Chinese firm given the two countries’ growing problems over technology transfers and other trade practices.

Other technologies currently in development under the Toyota umbrella is the sophisticated driver-assistance product also known as “Guardian,” which will be programmed to intervene when a driver makes a potentially deadly mistake, as well as “Chauffeur,” which is the automaker’s line of fully autonomous vehicles similar to Waymo and the GM Cruise.

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