NAGOYA - Toyota Motor Corp. is considering offering autonomous driving technologies to ride-hailing firms, sources close to the matter said Thursday, in its latest push to become a company offering not only cars but also various mobility services.
The Japanese automaker is planning to supply a new driverless system to be developed with US ride-hailing giant Uber Technologies Inc. to companies such as Grab Taxi Holdings Pte Ltd. of Singapore and ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd.'s Ola of India, the sources said.
Toyota said last month it will jointly invest $1 billion in Uber's new subsidiary to develop autonomous vehicles, together with SoftBank Group Corp. and auto parts supplier Denso Corp.
SoftBank Group is the biggest shareholder in Uber and has also invested in Grab and Ola. Toyota is also a stakeholder in Grab, which has a wide range of businesses across Southeast Asia.
The latest move signals Toyota's desire to stretch the scope of its business and take the initiative in offering advanced mobility services, including developing self-driving technologies that would eventually lead to "driverless taxis."
Toyota and SoftBank Corp., the mobile phone unit of SoftBank Group, announced last year they will jointly develop services using self-driving vehicles and other advanced automotive technologies.
SoftBank Group has also invested in Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing Technology Co.
But the Japanese group believes it is difficult to supply new technologies developed by a U.S. firm to a Chinese company as the two countries have been increasingly at odds over technology transfers and other trade practices, the sources said.