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Toyota boosts investment in ride-sharing

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Toyota Motor Corp. is diversifying into ride-sharing with a partnership with Singapore-based transport company, Grab Inc.The new pact, which Toyota announced on Wednesday, could make the automaker dive deeper into the ride-hailing business as global automobile sale plummets.

Toyota Group, Toyota Tsusho Corp. said it would invest an undisclosed amount in Grab as part of a $2.5billion fundraising round announced in July.

According to Toyota, it will install tracking devices on 100 Grab vehicles to gather data on driver behavior to help develop aspects of its mobility services, such as usage-based insurance and financing programmes.

The development could be a new method for Japanese automakers to grow business portfolio, considering that Honda Motor Co. had in December, invested an undisclosed amount in Grab to explore motorcycle ride hailing.

Just last year, Toyota said it would work with Uber Technologies Inc. to lease vehicles to Uber drivers.In October, Toyota also said it was running a pilot programme in the U.S. with car-sharing startup, Getaround, making use of a Toyota technology that allows cars to be started with a smartphone.The deals are part of Toyota’s long-term plan to build its own platform for mobility services.


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