Uber Looks Toward Toyota for Potential Self-Driving Partnership

Source: Bloomberg

The largest automaker and ride-hailing company are planning to collaborate on an initiative for autonomous driving. The new Uber Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi clarified the company was not going to scale back on its objectives concerning particular regional markets in spite of the speculations of a massive retreat.

He also posted a photo on Twitter of him and Toyota Mogul Akio Toyoda with Vice President Shigeki Tomoyaina while holding a black baseball hat from Ichiro Suzuki.

Source: Transport Topics

The snapshot encapsulated a proposed partnership the Uber CEO is pushing concerning autonomous vehicles becoming a part of the Uber network within a year. He explained to reporters at a media roundtable in New Delhi that would also be extending the proposal to other auto manufacturers.

Uber to Capitalize on Faster Schedule

Both Toyota and Uber have given sparse details concerning the partnership though both have separately been aspiring toward the related objective. Toyota also happened to buy a stake in Uber in 2016, whose size was not disclosed. Khosrowshahi also did not explain much except reiterating the commitment of his company toward commercial profit in the autonomous vehicle initiative. He only said they would be on the road using the Uber networks in less than a year which is much sooner than had been expected.

Source: USA Today

The race toward self-driving vehicles for each brand had generally been estimated to reach fruition by 2020 for most brands. The fact that Uber may execute it in collaboration with the world’s largest auto manufacturer in less than a year would suffice to say usurp the competitive advantage from others who had been gaining traction in self-driving. It would also allow it to gain massive traction as a ride-hailing giant in the markets where it is currently losing markets such as South and Central Asia.

Moving Past Previous Mistakes

Clearly, the Uber chief executive is looking to move past the past embarrassing debacles that have tainted the brand image such as sexual allegations from the drivers. The reimaging of the brand to one which represents self-driving concepts may be just what is needed. The just-concluded alphabet legal battle alleged Uber stole autonomous driving secrets and settled at a $245 million price tag.

Source: IOL

Khosrowshahi also claimed that Uber’s board is going to dictate the strategy going forward and the opinion of Toyota was one of many that it was considering for the future endeavors. Apparently, SoftBank’s investment focus was not to put the rivals against each other but to see how the company would be able to reshape the mobility space. It claimed there are developing markets that it is going to continue to invest in which will yield more results and the objective should be to invest in markets such as Latin America and India which have huge growth potential.