Uber’s autonomous group get massive $1 billion investment from SoftBank and Toyota
Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber has announced that Japanese conglomerate (SoftBank) Vision Fund, Toyota and automotive component supplier Denso have invested $1 billion into its autonomous cars division. Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal published an article which confirmed that Uber was already close to securing huge investment in its autonomous division called UBER Advanced Technologies Group, UberATG.
The announcement followed a group photo of Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi sitting alongside top executives from Denso, SoftBank and Toyota. Uber’s IPO which is set to be launched soon is expected to raise over $10 billion for the company, increasing the company’s value to $100 billion.
According to the documents signed, it showed that Denso and Toyota are dropping a huge $667 million while SoftBank’s Vision Fund is dropping $333 million. This is coming after Toyota invested $500 million investment from Toyota back in August 2018. Toyota has been the biggest partner of Uber so far. The company also intends to equip a large fleet of it’s Toyota Sienna cars with the Uber Autonomous Technology and deploy it en masse come 2021.
Uber CEO said “This investment and our strong partnership with the Toyota group are a strong testament. To the incredible work of our ATG team to date and the exciting future ahead for this important project alongside great partners.” As we all know self-driving cars are coming to eliminate human errors which cause accidents and make our street safer and cities much better.
This investment tends to place Uber ahead of competitors such as Apple car, Google’s Waymo, and Tesla autonomous technologies. This funding is a sign of confidence in UberATG from Japanese companies as well as other investors. Last year, Uber’s autonomous test program killed 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg in Tempe Arizona. The company narrowly avoided a criminal charge as a result but has since resumed its testing in Pittsburg Pennsylvania.
In addition to its crisis, Uber was involved in a legal battle with Google’s Waymo in trade secrets lawsuits. Surprisingly both companies reach an agreement in February. As a result of the lawsuit, Uber shut down its self-driving truck division aimed at supplying Budweiser beer.