GM, Honda team up on self-driv­ing

StarMetro Vancouver - - THE FEED - GM has been widely viewed as be­ing in sec­ond place in the au­ton­o­mous ve­hi­cle race, with Google’s Waymo on top. Learn more about what Waymo is up to at

Gen­eral Mo­tors and Honda will team up on self-driv­ing ve­hi­cle tech­nol­ogy as big au­tomak­ers and tech giants race to de­velop the next gen­er­a­tion of per­sonal trans­porta­tion.

Ja­pan’s Honda Mo­tor Co. will in­vest $2.75 bil­lion (U.S.) in the au­ton­o­mous ve­hi­cle unit run by Gen­eral Mo­tors Co., called GM Cruise. The two au­tomak­ers are al­ready part­ner­ing on fuel cell ve­hi­cles and an­nounced in June that they are de­vel­op­ing bat­ter­ies for elec­tric ve­hi­cles, mainly for the North Amer­i­can mar­ket.

The goal, the com­pa­nies said last week, is to de­velop an au­ton­o­mous ve­hi­cle that can be pro­duced at a high vol­ume for global de­ploy­ment. The com­pa­nies will also ex­plore global op­por­tu­ni­ties for com­mer­cial de­ploy­ment of the Cruise net­work.

Michelle Krebs, an ex­ec­u­tive an­a­lyst with Au­to­trader, be­lieves the part­ner­ship is crit­i­cal in the de­vel­op­ment of such ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy be­cause it re­quires huge in­vest­ments Honda will in­vest $2.75 bil­lion (U.S.) in the au­ton­o­mous ve­hi­cle unit run by GM, called GM Cruise. that have lit­tle prom­ise of a quick pay­off.

Honda will make an im­me­di­ate in­vest­ment of $750 mil­lion, and spend $2 bil­lion over 12 years on the project.

“Honda chose to col­lab­o­rate with Cruise and Gen­eral Mo­tors based on their lead­er­ship in au­ton­o­mous and elec­tric ve­hi­cle tech­nol­ogy and our shared vi­sion of a ze­roe­mis­sions and zero-col­li­sion world,” said Seiji Ku­raishi, an ex­ec­u­tive vice-pres­i­dent at Honda.

In May, the Ja­panese tech in­vest­ment firm Soft­bank an­nounced it was tak­ing a 20 per cent stake in Cruise for $2.25 bil­lion. GM had said it planned to use the cash in­fu­sion to roll out a rob­o­taxi ser­vice in at least one ma­jor city start­ing next year.

JIM WIL­SON/THE NEW YORK TIMES

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