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Toyota, Uber reportedly in talks over autonomous tech

by Drew Johnson

Toyota could be planning an autonomous minivan powered by Uber\'s technology.

Toyota is holding high-level talks with Uber Technologies to discuss the possibility of using the ride hailing firm's autonomous car technology in some future vehicles, a new report claims.

According to Japan's Nikkei business daily, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi met with Toyota executives this week in the United States to hammer out a potential autonomous vehicle partnership. The deal allegedly involves applying Uber's autonomous tech to Toyota's minivan models.

Like most other automakers, Toyota is already developing autonomous driving technologies of its own, but has signaled that it's willing to partner with other firms to advance its driverless wares. Moreover, Toyota has already forged a relationship with Uber on past projects.

"We regularly exchange information about automated driving with Uber for some time now," a spokeswoman told Reuters when asked about the new tie-up.

Uber is racing Google's Waymo self-driving car unit, along with several other firms, to make the self-driving car a reality. Toyota and Uber are currently working on autonomous taxis and delivery vehicles, but the latest deal could involve driverless vehicles that would be for sale to the general public.

Earlier this month Toyota announced a $2.8 billion investment to speed the development of autonomous vehicle software. The Japanese automaker has not announced when it might offer its first autonomous vehicle, but most automakers are shooting for either 2020 or 2021.