Toyota just made a massive investment in Uber

Uber app

Toyota is investing an undisclosed sum in Uber to expand ridesharing across the world.

Today's newly minted partnership is mutually beneficial; Uber gets the money, and Toyota gets new opportunities to sell cars. Toyota will offer new leasing options so that Uber drivers can cover payments through their rideshare earnings. The leasing periods will be flexible and based on a driver's needs.

Additionally, Toyota will offer a special fleet program to sell Toyota and Lexus vehicles to Uber.

"Ridesharing has huge potential in terms of shaping the future of mobility," said Shigeki Tomoyama, senior managing officer of Toyota. "Through this collaboration with Uber, we would like to explore new ways of delivering secure, convenient and attractive mobility services to customers."

Going global

Uber says Toyota vehicles are some of the most popular cars used by its drivers, and that this team up will help expand the ridesharing platform around the world.

Technology is also a focus of both firms as they collaborate on bringing in-car apps to support Uber drivers.

Noticeably missing from this announcement is anything about autonomous driving. Note that GM invested half a billion dollars in Lyft to bring an autonomous ridesharing fleet to fruition. It appeared Uber was going it alone with its Ford Fusion-based autonomous vehicle, however, this new partnership with Toyota may mean the final autonomous car will be made by Toyota instead.

The ridesharing wars are heating up as Volkswagen is investing $300 million in Gett, a New York-based ridesharing startup. Most notably, Apple invested $1 billion into Chinese ridesharing service, Didi Chuxing earlier this month.

Lewis Leong
Lewis Leong is a freelance writer for TechRadar. He has an unhealthy obsession with headphones and can identify cars simply by listening to their exhaust notes.