Car maker Toyota and the taxi-hailing app Uber have partnered to allow would-be taxi drivers lease a car and make the repayments from the earnings they make as Uber taxi drivers.
The new partnership entails part of your earnings from driving for Uber be used as payment for the Toyota Financial Services. Toyota customers can also lease their cars and pay back their monthly installments using part of the money earned from Uber driving.
This partnership is one of many where Uber tries to solve the problem some of its drivers face; they don’t own cars. Uber has a ‘sing up to drive’ offer, a financing program that enables would-be Uber drivers get discounts on select purchases on Chrysler, Ford, GM, Hyundai, Nissan, Toyota, and Volkswagen.
As technology disrupts the transportation industry, car makers are increasingly feeling the need to find how they can synergize their production in line with new technology development. One example of this synergy is when GM invested about $500 million into Lyft to deploy a network of self-driving vehicles.
Additionally, GM created a short-term rental program, Express Drive where the car maker provides all-in rental cars to Lyft drivers. According to TechCrunch, the drivers are supposed to pay $99 per week plus mileage and nothing else, but that depends on the number of Lyft rides the offer on the vehicles.
On the Toyota-Uber arrangement, the taxi app said, “Toyota is a global leader in the automotive industry, and Toyota vehicles are among the most popular cars on the Uber platform worldwide. We are proud to partner with Toyota in a variety of ways, including the expansion of our vehicle financing program.”
Toyota and Uber have “entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) 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.”
The MoU also entails Toyota becoming a partner in Uber’s financing program for its would-be drivers, a program known as Uber Xchange. The partnership also seeks to bolster Uber’s presence within the self-driving vehicle space.
This move is in line with Toyota’s plans to venture into the self-driving vehicle business. Last year, Toyota set up a $1 billion Toyota Research Institute. A new wing of the company tasked with developing AI and robotics self-driving vehicles.