Toyota, Volkswagen Team Up With Ridesharing Apps

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After GM's $500 million investment in Lyft and Apple's $1 billion investment in China's Didi Chuxing, rivals Toyota and Volkswagen are also getting into the ride-sharing game.

Still smarting from its emissions-cheating scandal, Volkswagen on Tuesday announced a $300 million stake in Gett, which is available in 60 cities globally and lets users instantly book rides on-demand or in advance. 

"The pay-per-ride domain is growing rapidly. In that context, Gett provides VW with the technology to expand beyond car ownership to on-demand mobility for consumers and businesses," Gett CEO Shahar Waiser said.

Toyota, meanwhile, is teaming up with Gett rival Uber. It plans to trial international ridesharing programs, as well as experiment with in-car apps and develop a fleet program to sell Toyota and Lexus vehicles to Uber drivers. Buyers will be able to lease vehicles from Toyota Financial Services, and cover payments with earnings generated as Uber drivers.

"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," Shigeki Tomoyama, senior managing officer of Toyota, said in a statement.

This news comes less than a month after Uber and Lyft left Austin, Texas, amidst objections to what they considered onerous requirements from city transportation officials. For now, the ride-hailing gap is being filled by Ride Austin, a new nonprofit app backed by local tech leaders.

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