Lyft and Waymo may not be the only car pooling companies developing self-propelled technology in the hope of making it accessible to others.
Nikkei has alleged that Uber is in talks to push its autonomous vehicle system into a Toyota minivan, marking a first informed attempt to sell its technology to someone else.
The Japanese newspaper said Uber boss Dara Khosrowshahi recently met with Toyota leaders (including his AI development chief Gill Pratt) at his company’s research center in Pittsburgh. It is not clear how far the progress will be or what exactly was discussed at the meeting.
In a statement to Reuters, Toyota said its staff “regularly exchanges” self-driving information with Uber, but said no decisions had been made beyond existing attendance. So it is not confirmation, but also no denial.
Toyota is no stranger in close cooperation with Uber he invested in 2016 in the company and this formed January a partnership to develop a driverless transport system for everything from applications messengers to messengers.
However, this would be a new step for both sides. Toyota already has its own automatic driving hardware, so it would complement its own work.
And for Uber, this would help your system evolve from a relatively internal problem (albeit with the help of other brands) into something that automakers can offer. Theoretically, the company could make the most of its development work and even turn it into a viable ancillary business if there are enough interested customers.