<p>Toyota just made a major investment in Uber, joining the group of big-name automakers entering into the ride-sharing market.</p><p>Toyota announced the partnership Tuesday. The automaker will allow Uber drivers to lease Toyota vehicles with a &quot;flexible&quot; leasing period, and drivers can use their earnings from Uber to cover payments.</p><p>The partnership gives Toyota a foothold in the growing ride-sharing industry, and Uber gets a major ally against competitors. The startup is already the largest ride-sharing company out there right now.</p><p>But Lyft recently received a $500 million investment from General Motors, and shortly before Toyota&#39;s announcement, Volkswagen revealed that it invested $300 million in Gett, a Tel Aviv-based ride-hailing company.</p><p>And Didi, a Chinese ride-sharing service, gained a powerful ally with a $1 billion investment from Apple.</p><p>Toyota&#39;s investment could be significantly smaller than any of those. The Wall Street Journal cites a source who says it is less than $100 million.</p><p><i>This video includes clips from&nbsp;</i><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lqd4Zg2D8TI" target="_blank"><i>Toyota</i></a><i>,&nbsp;</i><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axjXNEordH8" target="_blank"><i>Uber</i></a><i>,&nbsp;</i><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qpail9vsKwQ" target="_blank"><i>Lyft</i></a><i>&nbsp;and&nbsp;</i><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIB3xhS1sYY" target="_blank"><i>Gett</i></a><i>, and images from Getty Images. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.</i></p>
In an effort to step up competition against taxis and Lyft, Uber passengers will soon be able to schedule pick-ups 30 minutes to 30 days in advance, the company says on its website.
"We’re starting the global roll out of scheduled rides. With just a few taps on your app, you can schedule your ride," Uber said.
Here's how it works:
Select uberX and tap “Schedule a Ride.”
Set your pickup date, time, location, and destination.
Confirm the details of your upcoming trip and tap “Schedule uberX.” You can cancel at anytime before your ride is on the way.
Uber will send you reminders both 24 hours and 30 minutes in advance of your pickup. You’ll be notified after your ride is on the way, as well as whether surge pricing applies.
Lyft recently announced a new test feature allowing customers to schedule rides up to 24 hours ahead.
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