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Toyota, BMW Invest in Ride-Sharing

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May 26, 2016—Taking advantage of the increasing popularity of ride-sharing apps, both Toyota and BMW announced this week that they have made strategic investments in ride-sharing technology platforms. 

Toyota and Uber announced that they have entered a memorandum of understanding to collaborate and explore opportunities for mutual benefit. As part of the collaboration, Toyota has made a strategic investment in Uber. 

Through the partnership, the companies will create new flexible leasing options in which Uber drivers may lease their vehicles from Toyota and use their earnings from Uber to cover the cost of payments. Other collaboration opportunities include creating in-car apps specialized for Uber drivers, sharing research efforts, and establishing a fleet program to sell Toyota and Lexus vehicles to Uber drivers. 

“We’re excited that Toyota, the largest automobile manufacturer in the world, is making a strategic investment in Uber as part of a broader global partnership. Toyota vehicles are among the most popular cars on the Uber platform worldwide and we look forward to collaborating with Toyota in multiple ways going forward, starting with the expansion of our vehicle financing efforts,” said Emil Michael, chief business officer of Uber.

“Ridesharing has huge potential in terms of shaping the future of mobility. Through this collaboration with Uber, we would like to explore new ways of delivering secure, convenient and attractive mobility services to customers,” said Shigeki Tomoyama, senior managing officer of Toyota Motor Corporation and president of the Connected Company, a recently created in-house company of Toyota Motor Corporation. 

BMW announced that it has made a strategic investment through its i Ventures program in Scoop Technologies Inc., which created the carpool coordination mobile app “Scoop.”

Scoop, currently operating in San Francisco, Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, North San Jose and Pleasanton, Calif., partners with major employers, office parks, and government organizations to offer employees who live and work near each other the ability to connect and carpool. 

Commuters can choose to be a driver or rider for each one way trip and Scoop uses an algorithm to choose the most efficient matches.

Currently, Scoop’s network of employers includes Cisco, Microsoft, Salesforce, Workday, Airbnb, Tesla, Sandisk and more.

“Scoop’s carpooling offer is a great help for urban traffic and parking problems in cities, but it also enables employers in finding and supporting sustainable transportation solutions for their employees. Through this investment, BMW Mobility Services and Scoop together could offer a practical carpooling solution to a problem facing cities, starting here in the U.S.,” head of BMW i Ventures Ulrich Quay said.

“Scoop’s mission is to reduce the impact that traffic has on our lives,” said Rob Sadow, CEO of Scoop. “For most employees, driving to and from work is the most frustrating time of the day -- it’s expensive, unproductive, and stressful. We’ve built an app that allows commuters to enjoy all the benefits of carpooling without the hassle. This financing will enable our team to bring Scoop to more commuters in our area and beyond.”

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