Silicon Valley self-driving start-up Aurora Innovation said that it has agreed to a long-term partnership with Toyota (NYSE:TM) and Toyota supplier Denso (OTC:DNZOY) in which the partners will mass-produce autonomous vehicles for ride-hailing networks.
Aurora's autonomous-vehicle system, called the Aurora Driver, will initially be installed in Toyota Sienna minivans. The partners aim to have a fleet of self-driving Siennas completed for testing before the end of 2021, for deployment in ride-hailing service "over the next few years," Aurora said.
Uber Technologies (NYSE:UBER) will be an early client for the Aurora-Toyota vehicles, Aurora said, but it won't be an exclusive client. Toyota is an investor in Uber, which spent several years attempting to develop its own autonomous-vehicle system before selling that business unit to Aurora in December.
The deal's financial terms weren't disclosed. Bloomberg reports that Toyota will gain an "observer" seat on Aurora's board.
With this deal, Aurora joins several rivals in teaming up with a major global automaker or tech giant, including Alphabet-owned Waymo; General Motors-controlled Cruise; Argo AI, in which Ford and Volkswagen have significant stakes; and Zoox, which was purchased by Amazon.
Aurora, founded by veterans of Waymo, Uber, and Tesla, is believed to carry a valuation of more than $10 billion as of its most recent round of funding. The company announced a separate deal with heavy-truck maker PACCAR (NASDAQ:PCAR) in January, in which it will install the Aurora Driver in Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks for testing and possible deployment over the next several years.