Japanese automaker Toyota will jump into the self-driving car race with a sizable investment in Uber. CNBC reported Monday the automaker will inject $500 million into the company as part of a new investment deal.
The investment will better help Toyota rival GM Cruise and Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles, which partners with Waymo for self-driving car technology. Unlike GM Cruise, Toyota has taken the FCA approach and reached out to a partner for self-driving technology. GM Cruise wants to keep the entire process in-house.
With the investment, Uber is said to be valued at $72 billion.
Part of the deal will see Uber integrate its self-driving cart technology into Toyota Sienna minivans, and both will begin piloting a self-driving car program in 2021.
Uber’s self-driving car business has come under fire this year. This past March, a Volvo XC60 with Uber autonomous technology struck and killed a pedestrian in Arizona, marking the first time a self-driving car killed a human being.