Toyota and Uber have signed a memorandum of understanding that will see the automotive manufacturer invest in the ride-sharing service. It’s not entirely clear what level of investment this will be, but the announcement did reveal a new leasing option for Uber drivers.
“Ridesharing has huge potential in terms of shaping the future of mobility. Through this collaboration with Uber, we would like to explore new ways of delivering secure, convenient and attractive mobility services to customers,” said Shigeki Tomoyama, senior managing officer of Toyota Motor Corporation and president of the Connected Company.
The new leasing options will allow people to buy vehicles from Toyota and pay for them using earnings from Uber. We’re not sure which regions will be affected by this arrangement, but it is most likely to be a US centric deal. Still, driving around to pay off a car may be an attractive option for some people.
To be fair, Toyota did attempt to create a ride-sharing service in France; although that failed to take off. The failure was not entirely surprising considering that French taxi drivers almost set fire to Paris in response to Uber’s operations there.
This new collaboration could also be a boon for Uber which has been looking into more automotive technologies. The company only recently acknowledged the existence of its driverless car prototype, which has been driving around the American city of Pittsburgh for several months now. Uber has also reportedly been in talks with car manufacturers, although the reason for the negotiations is still yet unknown.