SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) -- U.S. ride-hailing leader Uber Technologies Inc. (Uber) said Monday that it is partnering with Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) on self-driving vehicles as Toyota announced an investment of 500 million U.S. dollars in a new joint project.
Uber said it will supply its proprietary self-driving system to Toyota Sienna Minivans, which will be owned and operated by a new business to be established by Uber and Toyota.
"We're taking our partnership with @Toyota to the new heights. Excited to see what our teams accomplish together!" Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi tweeted Monday.
Japan-based Toyota said the two companies have agreed to cooperate on developing autonomous cars and integrate their respective technologies into purpose-built Toyota vehicles to be deployed on Uber's ride-sharing network.
"This agreement and investment marks an important milestone in our transformation to a mobility company," said Shigeki Tomoyama, president of Toyota Connected Company.
"The deal is the first of its kind for Uber, and signals our commitment to bringing world-class technologies to the Uber network," said Khosrowshahi.
He said his company wants to deploy the world's safest self-driving cars on the Uber network, which could be made possible by its new agreement with Toyota.
Uber will combine its automated driving system with Toyota's Guardian system that monitors the vehicle environment and real-time situation such as lane-keeping, and the technology will be built into Toyota Sienna Minivans that will join Uber's ride-hailing network in 2021.
Uber's new partnership came a few months after one of its self-driving cars killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona in March, which later forced San Francisco-based Uber to suspend a testing project of autonomous vehicles in Arizona and lay off hundreds of employees in the state.