Uber could supply Toyota with self-driving systems, report claims

It's unclear how this would fit together with Toyota Research Institute's own AV work.

Andrew Krok Reviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
Andrew Krok
Toyota Research Institute

Toyota Research Institute might be hard at work on its own self-driving vehicle system, but it might also rely on Uber's efforts in the same space.

Uber is in negotiations to sell some of it self-driving systems to Toyota for use in its vehicles, the Nikkei Asian Review reports. High-ranking Toyota executives were spotted meeting with Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi at Uber's R&D facility in Pennsylvania.

Neither Uber nor Toyota immediately returned a request for comment.

Enlarge Image

I wouldn't be surprised if more news like this appears over the next year.

Sarah Tew/CNET

While many automakers have started work on their own autonomous vehicle systems, OEMs that lack the time or money to do so are more likely to purchase off-the-shelf solutions from third parties. Uber has signaled its intention to sell its platform to other automakers, joining an increasingly busy field filled with big-name competitors like Waymo and Apple .

Building a platform, rather than an entire vehicle, allows a supplier to sell to multiple automakers simultaneously. Even building a single car from scratch can cost billions of dollars on top of any autonomous R&D, and it introduces a whole new world of risks. Apple's secretive Project Titan was allegedly focused on building an entire car before it scaled back and focused on the AV platform alone.

This isn't the first time Toyota and Uber have snuggled up. The two have looked into a strategic partnership in the past, and Toyota even introduced new flexible lease options specifically for Uber drivers looking for a new set of wheels.

Toyota GR Racing Concept previews a production Supra

See all photos