Four Toyota Motor Corp group companies said on Monday they will form a joint venture to develop software that manages brakes, steering and other components for automated driving.
Advics, Aisin Seiki Co, Denso Corp and Jtekt Corp aim to launch the company in March 2019 with Denso to be the biggest stakeholder, owning 65 percent, they said in a joint statement.
The Nikkei business daily had flagged the deal last week.
In addition, Aisin and Denso said they would set up a 50-50 joint venture to develop and sell electrification driving modules. They will focus on modules for hybrids, plug-in hybrids, fuel cell vehicles and electric vehicles, especially in China.
The Japanese automaker is investing $500 million in Uber, the companies said on Monday. The deal values the ride-hailing giant at $72 billion, said a person familiar with the matter, the UK’s The Times reported.
As part of the pact, Toyota will manufacture Sienna minivans equipped with Uber’s self-driving technology, and another company will operate the fleet. They have yet to identify the third partner, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the details are private, it said.
Spokesmen for Uber and Toyota initially declined to comment but later confirmed the news. The Wall Street Journal reported the investment earlier Monday, and details of the driverless-car partnership hadn’t been previously reported.
The deal with Toyota raises Uber’s paper valuation by 15 percent from the last investment and matches the value of shares given to Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo after Uber settled a lawsuit over self-driving cars. A group of investors valued Uber at $62 billion earlier this year.
In a separate partnership around self-driving vehicle development outlined in January, a Toyota spokesman said Uber wouldn’t turn off the automaker’s built-in safety features, including radar and other sensors that help to anticipate what other vehicles and pedestrians are doing in a wide space around the vehicle.