Car Industry

Now it's Toyota's turn to get involved in car sharing with Getaround

More and more automakers are hopping on this bandwagon.

Toru Yamanaka/AFP/Getty Images
toyota-2.jpg

This probably won't be the last we'll hear about Toyota's car-sharing efforts in the next week or two.

Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images

Just yesterday, I wrote about Audi's new car-sharing scheme, Audi Shared Fleet. Not even one day has passed, and already, yet another automaker is getting involved in car sharing. Space this stuff out, folks.

Toyota announced an investment in US car-sharing outfit Getaround, Reuters reports. The investment was made through its investment fund, Mirai Creation Investment Limited Partnership, which is one seriously long name.

It's unclear just how much money Toyota put into San Francisco-based Getaround, but Japanese newspaper Nikkei estimates the investment at around $10 million. The fund largely spends its money on artificial intelligence and robotics, but car sharing is definitely gaining traction, too.

Car sharing will likely get even more popular as autonomy rises and the cost of owning a car in a city rises along with it. Between parking, registration and other costs, it's easier for many urbanites to just rent a car for a couple hours, whenever it's needed. And since the automakers own the cars in question, they can keep them in tip-top shape to keep up appearances.

Toyota's investment in Getaround is welcome, but it's nowhere near the first automaker to get involved with car sharing. Along with Audi Shared Fleet, General Motors established Maven, and BMW has its ever-expanding ReachNow service, all of which loan out cars with pricing by the minute or the hour.