Toyota, SoftBank fund, Denso invest $1 billion in Uber

In this Thursday, April 18, 2019, photo provided by Toyota Motor Corporation, from left, Denso Corp. Executive Vice President Hiroyuki Wakabayashi, Head of Uber ATG Eric Meyhofer, CEO of Uber Technologies, Inc. Dara Khosrowshahi, Toyota Executive Vice President Shigeki Tomoyama and Managing Partner of Softbank Vision Fund Ervin Tu attend a press conference at Uber headquarters in San Francisco. Japan's top automaker Toyota, auto parts maker Denso and internet company SoftBank's investment fund are investing $1 billion in car-sharing Uber's technology unit. (Toyota Motor Corporation via AP)

TOKYO — Japan's top automaker Toyota, auto parts maker Denso and internet company SoftBank's investment fund are investing $1 billion in car-sharing Uber's technology unit.

The Japanese companies said Friday that Toyota Motor Corp. and Denso Corp. will together invest $667 million and SoftBank Corp.'s Vision Fund will contribute $333 million in Uber Technologies Inc.'s new entity, Advanced Technologies Group, or Uber ATG, which will try to develop and commercialize automated ridesharing services.

The move comes as Toyota steps up such efforts, including investing $500 million in Uber, based in San Francisco, and setting up a $20 million joint venture with SoftBank to create mobility services, both announced last year.

Toyota also promised to contribute up to $300 million more over the next three years for developing next-generation autonomous vehicles and services.

Toyota Executive Vice President Shigeki Tomoyama said working together will help bring down costs and speed up development.

Uber Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi expressed hope that the deal, set to close by the third quarter, will help maintain Uber's leading position in the technology.

"The development of automated driving technology will transform transportation as we know it, making our streets safer and our cities more livable," he said.

SoftBank has invested in Didi and Grab, as well as Uber, and has acquired IoT leader Arm, while Toyota is developing autonomous vehicles in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Automakers around the world are forming tie-ups to develop next-generation transportation, and Google's Waymo and U.S. electric-car maker Tesla are also big players in the effort.

___

Follow Yuri Kageyama on Twitter https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

On Instagram https://www.instagram.com/yurikageyama/?hl=en

Must Read

China plans panda preserve 3 times size of...

Mar 31, 2017

China plans a preserve for giant pandas that will be three times the size of Yellowstone National...

Zhang Yimou says 'Great Wall' story may have been...

May 10, 2017

Zhang Yimou says the disappointing U.S. performance of the biggest budget China-U.S. co-production...

Computer beats Chinese champion in ancient board...

May 23, 2017

A computer that plays go has defeated China's top player of the ancient board came and the Chinese...

Wasted green power tests China's energy leadership

Jun 5, 2017

China's scramble to curb pollution has made it the world leader in renewable energy development,...

China's Huawei posts slower first-half revenue...

Jul 27, 2017

China's Huawei Technology says first-half revenues at telecom gear, smartphone businesses expand at...