Uber's self-propelled unit gets $ 1 billion investment from SoftBank and Japan's automotive industry

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi announced this evening a $ 1 billion investment from the Japanese conglomerate SoftBank & # 39; s Vision Fund, Toyota automaker and automation component supplier Denso. The news confirms an article by Wall Street Journal published earlier this week, reporting that Uber was close to securing funding for its autonomous division, called the Uber Advanced Technologies Group, or UberATG.

Khosrowshahi announced the investment with a tweet which included an image of the CEO along with executives from SoftBank, Toyota and Denso. According to the accompanying press release, the capital injection Uber's self-propelled unit of $ 725 billion, ahead of its official original public offer, is likely to come later this year. Uber's IPO, which does not yet have a specific date, is expected to raise $ 1[ads1]0 billion to the company and will value the company at as much as $ 100 billion, WSJ reports.

The investment conditions indicate that Toyota and Denso contribute $ 667 million overall, while SoftBank's Vision Fund contributes $ 333 million. The deal should not come as a surprise to those who look closely at Uber's economy; The company received an investment of $ 500 million from Toyota in August 2018, specifically to help accelerate its demanding efforts, including setting a retrofitted Toyota Sienna fleet on its way to testing Uber's autonomous technology and eventually distributing it commercially so soon as 2021. [19659005] "This investment and our strong partnership with the Toyota Group is a testament to the wonderful work of our ATG team to date, and the exciting future of this important project, along with good partners," Khosrowshahi in a statement. "The development of automated vehicle technology will change transport as we know so our roads become safer and our cities more alive. Today's announcement, along with our ongoing OEM and supplier relationships, will help maintain Uber's position ahead of that transformation."

Funding is a sign of confidence in UberATG from the Japanese financial and automotive industry after a few years of bumpy stateide research and development. Only last year, the company avoided criminal charges in the first death in the hands of an autonomous car, which took place in March last year and claimed the life of the 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg. The fatal accident ended Uber's test program in Tempe, Arizona, but the company has since resumed testing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where UberATG is headquartered.

In addition to the accident, UberATG was involved in a questionable business secret lawsuit with competing self-propelled company Waymo, owned by Google's parent company letter, a legal dispute that reached a surprise solution in February after just one week in the courtroom. Due to part of the lawsuit, Uber was shuttered its self-propelled truck unit, although the company has held the division's engineers working on an internal lidar project, and continues to develop a software logistics platform for delivery companies called Uber Freight.

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