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Toyota is investing $500 million in Uber at a $72 billion valuation as part of a self-driving-car partnership

  • Toyota is investing $500 million into Uber, according to The Wall Street Journal.
  • The investment round values Uber at $72 billion, The Journal said.
  • Toyota and Uber are said to be partnering to develop self-driving car technology, an area where Uber has struggled.

Toyota will invest $500 million into Uber at a mammoth $72 billion valuation, the two companies announced on Monday, alongside a partnership developing autonomous-vehicle technology. The news was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Uber’s tech will be integrated into custom-built Toyota vehicles that will be used for a network of self-driving cars, with the first pilots scheduled for 2021.

Uber and the Japanese auto giant have previously been in talks about both self-driving technology and more-general opportunities. Toyota invested in Uber in 2016 alongside an auto-leasing deal. Anda report in March said Uber was discussing selling self-driving tech to the 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 Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi in a statement. “Our goal is to deploy the world’s safest self-driving cars on the Uber network, and this agreement is another significant step towards making that a reality. Uber’s advanced technology and Toyota’s commitment to safety and its renowned manufacturing prowess make this partnership a natural fit. I look forward to seeing what our teams accomplish together.”

Uber has previously been valued at $69 billion in a private venture-capital investment round, though SoftBank invested in the California firm in December at a $48 billion valuation.

Uber has said it considers self-driving technology crucial to its future — but it has had a bumpy ride.

It was caught up in a high-profile trade-secrets lawsuit over Anthony Levandowski, an executive it hired away from Waymo, the self-driving-car startup spun out of Google. And in March, one of Uber’s self-driving vehicles hit and killed a woman in Arizona in what appeared to be the first pedestrian fatality involving an autonomous vehicle.

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