Want a Toyota mini-van? Yeah, me neither…
But we do want autonomous vehicles… and we just got closer with Toyota announcing a $500 million investment in Uber to accelerate the process of getting these things on the road. Uber will outfit the Toyota Sienna minivan with autonomous driving tech and start testing in 2021 (we’re not that close, okay). However, Toyota now has a partner for autonomous vehicles – although who will want a self-driving minivan remains to be seen.
Why this partnership is good… because the $500 million will help Toyota move into the “mobility market.” There are many people out there that see cars as a service, rather than an asset you buy, in the future. Ride-share companies need partners that can build cars and automotive companies need partners that are well versed in transportation services – that is what we have here.
And there you have it… Toyota really wants to bring you autonomous technology..In 2015, the car-maker also announced a $1 billion investment in the Toyota Research Institute artificial intelligence lab. Also, in January, Toyota and Uber announced e-Palette, an autonomous vehicle service that does everything from delivering pizza to transporting you to your destination. So mark it on your calendars – you will have self-driving cars minivans by 2021.