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Toyota and Uber explore ridesharing collaboration

Toyota Motor Corporation, an automotive business that aims for safer and more efficient and convenient mobility, and Uber, a technology platform that is changing the way the world moves, have announced a new partnership to look at how they might work together on the development of ridesharing.

They have entered a memorandum of understanding to explore the possibilities for collaboration, initially with ridesharing trials in countries where the practice is expanding. These will take into account local factors such as regulations, business conditions and customer needs. As part of the partnership, Toyota Financial Services Corporation and the Mirai Creation Investment Limited Partnership are making strategic investments in Uber.

Against the backdrop of rapidly evolving trends in the way cars are used, the development of mobility services in new areas, including ridesharing and car-sharing, has gathered pace worldwide. Through this agreement on trials, Toyota and Uber will accelerate further talks aimed at establishing new services and offering new value to customers.

As part of the new partnership, the companies will create new leasing options allowing purchasers to lease their vehicles from Toyota Financial Services and cover their payments through earnings generated as Uber drivers. The leasing period will be flexible and based on driver needs. This initiative builds on Uber’s current vehicle solutions programme.

Shigeki Tomoyama, a Toyota Motor Corporation senior managing officer and president of the Connected Company, a recently created Toyota in-house business, said: “Ridesharing has huge potential in terms of shaping the future of mobility. Through this collaboration with Uber, we would like to explore new ways of delivering secure, convenient and attractive mobility services to customers.”

Emil Michael, Uber’s Chief Business Officer, said: “We’re excited that Toyota, the largest automobile manufacturer in the world, is making a strategic investment in Uber as part of a broader global partnership. Toyota vehicles are among the most popular cars on the Uber platform worldwide and we look forward to collaborating with Toyota in multiple ways, starting with the expansion of our vehicle financing efforts.”

Toyota and Uber will also explore collaboration in other areas, such as developing in-car apps that support Uber drivers, sharing knowledge and accelerating their respective research efforts and establishing a special fleet programme to sell Toyota and Lexus vehicles to Uber.

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