Earlier this year GM invested in Lyft. Now Toyota is partnering with Uber, the National Volunteer Transportation Center and DEKA Research and Special Olympics Texas. BMW i Ventures invested in the carpooling app Scoop.
Toyota Motor Corporation, and Uber announced a partnership. The companies have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to explore collaboration, starting with ridesharing trials. Toyota Financial Services Corporation and Mirai Creation Investment Limited Partnership are making a strategic investment in Uber.
The companies will create new leasing options in which car purchasers can lease their vehicles from Toyota Financial Services and cover their payments through earnings generated as Uber drivers. The leasing period will be flexible and based on driver needs.
Toyota and Uber also will explore collaboration in a variety of other areas, such as developing in-car apps that support Uber drivers, sharing knowledge and accelerating their respective research efforts, and establishing a special fleet program to sell Toyota and Lexus vehicles to Uber.
The National Volunteer Transportation Center (NVTC) supports thousands of drivers like Korb, and organizations like the Senior Connection, that enable the freedom of mobility. And now NVTC has a new supporter, Toyota.
Phase one of the partnership includes a $400,000, multi-year grant from Toyota to support NVTC/CTAA programs, including the annual STAR awards, annual CTAA conference sponsorship, in-kind resources and additional mobility initiatives, currently in development. Toyota also will donate two vehicles – a 2016 Toyota Prius and a 2016 Mobility Sienna – to volunteer driver programs. In addition, Toyota will offer a special fleet purchase program for the more than 4,000 CTAA member organizations and 145,000 individual non-emergency medical transportation providers.
Toyota Motor North America is also joining forces with DEKA Research and Development, the company founded by legendary inventor Dean Kamen, to support mobility solutions for the disabled community. This agreement will help DEKA to proceed with plans to complete the development and launch the next generation iBOT motorized wheelchair.
The iBOT is a revolutionary motorized wheelchair with two sets of powered wheels that can be rotated to allow the user to “walk” up and down stairs. The wheelchair allows users to rise from a sitting level to approximately six feet in height and travel in this “standing” configuration, and is capable of traveling through a wide variety of terrain types.
Toyota is launching a comprehensive, multi-phased partnership with NVTC to improve accessibility and efficiency of transportation solutions for the elderly and disabled. The National Volunteer Transportation Center (NVTC), an initiative of the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA), promotes and supports more than 800 volunteer driver programs in 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
Special Olympics Texas (SOTX) officially announced Toyota as its newest Official Partner making the automaker a year-round statewide $250,000-level co-sponsor of the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
The Scoop on BMW i Ventures
BMW i Ventures has announced a strategic investment in Scoop Technologies, Inc., creators of the carpooling mobile application “Scoop”. Scoop commuters have taken more than 40,000 trips, offsetting nearly 500,000 in commute mileage for riders. Originally launched in Pleasanton, CA, Scoop now also operates commute trips into San Francisco, Palo Alto, Sunnyvale and North San Jose.
Scoop partners with major employers, office parks, and local governments to offer employees an affordable and effective transportation solution. The Scoop app automatically connects co-workers and neighbors who live in the same neighborhood and travel to the same work area. Commuters select each trip one way at a time and choose whether to ride or drive. Scoop’s algorithm matches them to a carpool with neighbors and co-workers for the most efficient commute.