With an eye towards the future and following along with a recent trend in the industry, Toyota and Uber have signed a partnership to explore future ride sharing possibilities and collaboration.
The partnership, announced on May 24, 2016, is technically a memorandum of understanding to “explore collaboration, starting with trials, in the world of ridesharing in countries where ridesharing is expanding, taking various factors into account such as regulations, business conditions, and customer needs,” according to a Toyota press release.
Basically, Toyota will tap into Uber’s technology platform to see what they can learn about developing future products to make mobility safer, more efficient and convenient.
This partnership follows a recent trend with Ford developing their own ridesharing service and GM partnering with Lyft. Each of these automotive companies realizes there are benefits to reaching outside of their basic business plans and tap into an emerging trend.
Toyota partnering with Uber, a leader in the growing ridesharing trend, is a big win for the company since it could be on the leading edge of this mobility trend. That is if Uber continues to grow and people continue to embrace ridesharing.
What future applications could come out of this partnership? Who really knows at this point. Ford seems to be poised to try and sell their service along with GM. Toyota and Uber seem at least poised to incorporate Uber’s technology into the vehicle’s infotainment system as well as building future technology applications to further integrate Uber into people’s lives. While there may be additional opportunities to study how vehicles are used in ridesharing, this seems like a long shot since Toyota already gathers data from taxi cabs which are increasingly using Toyota Prius vehicles (it seems to us the more we travel).
Ultimately, these partnerships can have unforeseen advantages and/or can fizzle out with nothing gained. It is nice to see, though, Toyota engaging with Uber and understanding more about Uber’s ridesharing services.
Here is a the weekly recap of Toyota/Lexus news for May 20, 2016.
Periodically Toyota’s communications team interviews executives and other individuals, journalists simply don’t have access to. Here is a great example of these interviews with CEO Jim Lentz. While he doesn’t share any shocking, breaking news items, I think his discussion on oil prices and the change in consumer behavior is spot on and is part of the reason why he has been cautious when he talks about spending more resources on truck development. Sure, trucks are hot right now, but what happens in 5 years which is about the time frame for when a new production facility could come online. Will trucks still be hot? If only we had a crystal ball.
Here is the weekly dose of Toyota/Lexus for May 13, 2016.
Another month of sales results for 2016 and a similar story. Once again, Toyota Tacoma sales grow while the Tundra treads water and was even out sold by the Chevy Colorado.