Uber Technologies Inc said on Thursday that the investment values its Advanced Technologies Group, which works to develop autonomous driving technology, at $7.25 billion. SoftBank will invest $333 million from its $100 billion Vision Fund, while Toyota Motor Corp and automotive parts supplier Denso Corp will invest a combined $667 million.
Toyota will also contribute up to an additional $300 million over the next three years to help cover the costs of building commercial self-driving vehicles, Uber said.
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said that the funding “will help maintain Uber’s position at the forefront of” a transforming transportation industry. The funding allows Uber to transfer some of the substantial cost of developing self-driving cars onto outside investors. That is likely to appease some of Wall Street’s concerns over Uber’s spending on the autonomous unit, which has topped $1.07 billion since the program started in 2016.
In its filing for an initial public offering this month, Uber cautioned that development of self-driving technology “is expensive and time-consuming and may not be successful” and the company lagged certain competitors. The self-driving business unit brings in no meaningful revenue for Uber, which last year lost $3.03 billion.
A s part of the investment, ATG becomes its own legal entity but remains under the control of Uber. A new ATG board will be formed, with six directors appointed from Uber, one from SoftBank and one from Toy ota. reuters
News credit : Indiatimes