Toyota and Volkswagen cosy up in the back seat with Uber and Gett
Carmakers Toyota and Volkswagen have struck separate partnerships with rideshare companies Uber and Gett. The Japanese company will invest an unspecified amount in Uber and offer new leasing options for its drivers.
Toyota said the two companies would share also knowledge and speed up their research efforts in areas such as driverless cars. Volkswagen announced an investment in Gett, an Israel-based rideshare operator.
Toyota said that as patterns of car usage continued to change, it wanted the collaboration to be about more than simply providing vehicles but to also collaborate on technology such as in-car apps.
Gett chief executive Shahar Waiser also stressed that the partnership with VW would involve technology and innovation.
VW said: “The ride-hailing market represents the greatest market potential in on-demand mobility, while creating the technological platform for developing tomorrow’s mobility business models.”
Uber’s deal with Toyota follows Apple’s $1bn investment in Chinese ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing. That has been regarded in some quarters as a political move by the US technology giant to bolster its presence in the crucial Chinese market.
Apple is also believed to be developing a car. In March, General Motors invested $500m in US Uber rival Lyft to help develop an on-demand network of self-driving cars.
The partnership will also create a joint car rental service for drivers to increase the number of vehicles available through Lyft.