Apple recently invested one billion dollars in Chinese ride hailing firm, Didi Chuxing, with a view to understand the country's market and operations. Now, Japanese car maker Toyota has announced a strategic investment in Uber for research collaboration, as well as providing vehicles to the ride hailing service.
Toyota announced today that the company has signed a memorandum of understanding with Uber to collaborate and conduct trials in countries where the app hailing service is currently available, or will be expanding to. This isn't the first time an automaker has entered into a deal with a technology group, as last month a consortium led by Google, Uber, Ford, Volvo and Lyft was formed to develop and promote self-driving cars in the US.
The financial details of the deal between Toyota and Uber haven't been disclosed by the car-maker. However, it has been revealed that a strategic investment is being made by the Toyota Financial Services Corporation and Mirai Creation Investment Limited Partnership in the San Francisco-based startup.
As part of the partnership, Uber drivers can lease vehicles from Toyota Financial Services and pay back the amount using their earnings from the ride hailing service. The companies will also be working to create a fleet of Toyota and Lexus vehicles. On the technology front, they will be developing new services for Uber drivers, conduct research and share knowledge.