Some of the largest Japanese shareholders of Uber Technologies Inc. have invested more than $1 billion in the Advanced Technologies Group (ATG), the company’s autonomous driving division, in a major boost to its growing ambitions.

Toyota Motor Corporation (Japan’s largest car firm) and Denso Corporation (Japan’s largest supplier of car parts) will together invest $667 million in ATG. On the other hand, Softbank Group’s Vision Fund (the world’s largest technology fund) will invest $333 million. SoftBank is Uber’s largest shareholder. Toyota invested $500 million in Uber in 2018.

The investment values ATG at $7.25 billion and establishes a newly formed corporate entity with its own board of directors. Representatives from this investors’ consortium attended the signing ceremony at Uber’s San Francisco headquarters Thursday alongside Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and ATG CEO Eric Meyhofer.

ATG will remain under the control of Uber with its financial performance folded into Uber’s. The new ATG board will have six seats from Uber, one from SoftBank and one from Toyota. Meyhofer will report to the new board.

Analysts said the $1 billion investment will enable Uber to transfer some of the huge cost of developing self-driving cars onto the investor consortium. The investment comes in the wake of reports other Uber investors are fretting over the $1 billion already spent by Uber on its self-driving project which began in 2016.

ATG has yet to contribute any meaningful revenue to Uber, which lost $3.03 billion in 2018. It has offices in Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto.

The huge investment in self-driving technologies comes on the eve of Uber’s initial public offering. Uber will launch its roadshow pitch next week in advance of its IPO at the New York Stock Exchange in early May.

Analysts expect Uber to raise $90 billion to $100 billion from its IPO, an 18 percent jump from its current $76 billion valuation.

uber Uber signage is seen outside the entrance of the ride-hailing giant's office in Hong Kong, March 10, 2017. Photo: ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty Images