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Uber in talks with Toyota to sell self-driving tech

US ride-hailing company takes on Google affiliate Waymo

An Uber self-driving vehicle on the road in the U.S. state of Arizona.   © AP

PALO ALTO, U.S. -- Uber Technologies will start selling self-driving systems to outside companies, seeking to supply Toyota Motor and others.

The U.S. ride-hailing company is in a fierce battle with Google affiliate Waymo in development of autonomous-vehicle technology. Aiming to catch up with the front-runner, Uber has forged partnerships with a number of companies, including Toyota.

Uber is now is negotiating a deal with Toyota, discussing the possibility of installing its self-driving system in a minivan made by the Japanese automaker. Shigeki Tomoyama, a Toyota executive vice president, and Gill Pratt, who heads the automaker's artificial intelligence development base in Silicon Valley, met with Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi this week at Uber's research and development center in Pittsburgh in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania.

Eric Meyhofer, head of Uber's advanced technologies group, said the system centrally processes data from cameras, sensors and lidar, a type of technology that measures distances using laser pulses. The system can be installed after sale in ordinary vehicles and enables automated driving, except under emergency situations.

Toyota develops core technologies for self-driving on its own. But it has also laid out plans to use technologies from outside companies such as Uber and China's Didi Chuxing in developing vehicles for mobility services.

Uber, for its part, is jointly developing autonomous-driving technology with Sweden's Volvo Cars and has signed a deal to include German automaker Daimler's self-driving cars in its ride-hailing network.

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