Toyota Motor Corp of Japan has reduced its shareholding in Uber Technologies Inc by roughly half after the ride-hailing company unloaded the autonomous driving business at the heart of their relationship.
“The development of vehicles related to automated driving was one of the main objectives of Toyota’s investment,” Toyota spokesperson Shiori Hashimoto said in a statement, adding that the company still aims to maintain their alliance.
Toyota stated in a regulatory filing on Thursday that it owned 5.13 million shares in Uber as of March 31, down from 10.25 million shares a year earlier.
The Japanese automaker’s current investment in Uber is valued at 22.4 billion yen ($165.51 million).
“Toyota continues to hold shares as part of our goal to maintain our collaboration and good relationship with Uber,” Hashimoto said.
Toyota spent $500 million in Uber in 2018 to collaborate on self-driving car development as both businesses raced to catch up to rivals in the fiercely competitive autonomous driving market.
However, in order to meet its profitability targets, Uber sold its autonomous driving section to Aurora Innovation Inc in 2020.
Aurora and Toyota announced in March that they had begun testing an autonomous ride-hailing fleet in Texas, with two safety operators and no passengers on board.
(Adapted from HindustanTimes.com)