Uber’s self-driving unit gets $1 billion investment from SoftBank and Japan’s auto industry

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi announced this afternoon an investment of $ 1 billion from the Vision Fund, from the Toyota automaker and the automatic component supplier Denso from Japanese conglomerate Softbank. The news confirms an article in The Wall Street Journal published earlier this week that reports that Uber was close to obtaining funds for its autonomous division, called Uber Advanced Technologies Group, or UberATG.

Khosrowshahi announced the investment with a tweet that included a photo of the executive director along with executives from SoftBank, Toyota and Denso. According to the accompanying press release, the capital injection values ​​the Uber automatic driving unit at 7.25 billion dollars, ahead of the company's initial public offering that will be made later this year. It is expected that Uber's IPO, which does not yet have an established date, will raise around $ 10 billion for the company that will arrive at the company and value the company up to $ 100 billion, reports the WSJ .

The terms of the investment indicate that Toyaota and Denso are contributing $ 667 million together, while the SoftBank Vision Fund is contributing $ 333 millions. The agreement should not come as a surprise to those who closely monitor Uber's finances; The company received a $ 500 million investment from Toyota in August 2018 specifically to help accelerate its self-management efforts, including the commissioning of a modified Toyota Sienna fleet to test Uber's stand-alone technology and ultimately implement it. commercially as soon as 2021. [19659005] "This investment and our strong partnership with the Toyota Group are a testament to the incredible work of our ATG team to date, and the exciting future ahead of this important project, together with excellent partners" Khosrowshahi said in a statement. "The development of automated driving technology will transform transportation as we know it, making our streets safer and our cities more livable. Today's announcement, along with our ongoing relationships between OEMs and suppliers, will help keep Uber's position at the forefront of that transformation. "

Funding is a sign of confidence in UberATG on the part of the industries automotive and financial companies after some years of difficulties Research and development in the United States Last month, the company avoided criminal charges in the first death at the hands of an autonomous automobile, which took place in March of last year and claimed a life by Elaine Herzberg, 49. The fatal crash ended Uber's testing program in Tempe, Arizona, but the company has since resumed testing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where UberATG is headquartered.

collapse, UberATG was involved in a contentious lawsuit for trade secrets with the Waymo autonomous driving company, owned by the company sa Google Alphabet matrix, a legal dispute that reached a surprise agreement last February after only a week of negotiations. . Due in part to the demand, Uber closed its automated driving truck unit, although the company has kept the division's engineers working on an internal lidar project, and continues to develop a software logistics platform for delivery companies called Uber Freight. .

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