Toyota and Volkswagen are the latest automakers to forge alliances with ride-hailing companies, deals that could see the car makers not only sell cars to drivers of the app companies but also develop jointly on-demand mobility technologies.
Toyota said last year it was testing the Highway Teammate, an automated vehicle, and expects to launch self-driving cars based on the technology by 2020.
A deal announced recently between Lyft and General Motors, which involved a US$500 million investment by GM in the ride-hailing company, also involves the joint development of an integrated network of on-demand autonomous cars, combining technology for self-driving cars from GM with software to automate ride matching, routing and payments from Lyft.
A proposed US$300 million investment by Volkswagen in Gett, an European ride hailing provider, also announced Tuesday, is linked to the company s stated objective of generating a substantial share of sales revenue from new business models like mobility-on-demand by 2025.
Volkswagen announced last month a new company for the development of mobility services.
Gett will provide Volkswagen with the technology to expand beyond car ownership to on-demand mobility for consumers and businesses, said Gett's founder and CEO Shahar Waiser in a statement.