This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

The world’s biggest ride-hailing company is getting a massive investment from the world’s largest automaker. Japanese giant Toyota has announced it will be investing $500 million in Uber in a strategic move that intends to bring the two companies closer together in the development of self-driving cars.

Both Toyota and Uber already have self-driving car programs, and the move could create a market for the companies to flood the streets with autonomous vehicles. The investment was made at a valuation of Uber at $72 billion, and Toyota says the partnership will be “critical in realizing self-driving technology at scale.”

The companies anticipate that the new vehicles produced will be owned and operated by third party autonomous fleet operators, so neither Toyota or Uber will be responsible for managing the fleet of self-driving cars.

“The deal is the first of its kind for Uber, and signals our commitment to bringing world-class technologies to the Uber network,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a statement. “Our goal is to deploy the world’s safest self-driving cars on the Uber network, and this agreement is another significant step towards making that a reality.”

The investment is welcome news for Uber’s self-driving car program, which has hit a few bumps recently, including a pedestrian death in Arizona last March and a lawsuit from Google. It shutdown its operations in Arizona after a self-driving car struck and killed a person — the company only recently reentered the Pittsburgh market with its self-driving cars but have yet to put them back in autonomous mode.

As part of the partnership, Uber will use Toyota Sienna Minivans outfitted with Uber and Toyota’s self-driving technology. Uber will begin testing the vehicles on its ride-hailing network in 2021.

Toyota and Uber have worked together in the past — in January they revealed an autonomous vehicle concept dubbed e-Palette, and in 2016 Toyota invested in the ride-hailing firm to allow drivers to lease Toyota vehicles and have earnings from their rides automatically cover car payments.

Waymo, Google’s self-driving car project, has forged similar partnerships with Jaguar and Chrysler to build and develop self-driving cars. Lyft joined with General Motors, Ford and Google in pursuit of its own autonomous ride technology.

Featured image by Justin Sullivan / Getty Images.

Know before you go.

News and deals straight to your inbox every day.

The American Express® Business Platinum Card

The Business Platinum Card from American Express offers 40,000 bonus Membership Rewards® points as well as a slew of other valuable benefits like lounge access, hotel elite status and a digital subscription to The Times and The Sunday Times for Primary and Platinum Supplementary Cardmembers.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 40,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend £6k in your first 3 months of Card Membership
  • Up to 99 free Supplementary Cards - one complimentary Platinum Employee Cards and 98 Complimentary Gold Employee Cards
  • Global Lounge Collection - Access to more than 1,200 airport lounges across 130 countries, including The Centurion® Lounges and membership of Priority Pass™
  • Hotel Status at Hilton, Marriott Bonvoy™, Meliá Hotels International, Radisson Hotel Group, Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts – enjoy benefits such as complimentary upgrades, early check-in and late check-out, enhanced loyalty points, complimentary Wi-Fi and more
  • The Times and The Sunday Times annual digital subscription (£312 value per Card) – available for Primary and all Supplementary Cardmembers
  • Fine Hotels and Resorts – Enjoy a collection of over 1,000 hand-selected iconic 5-star properties worldwide. Receive complimentary benefits worth an average total value of £400 per stay.*
  • £150 statement credit for every booking with onefinestay (unlimited use)
  • Dedicated Account Management Team
Annual Fee
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.