Honda to Invest in GM Self-Driving Unit
Honda Motors will invest $2.75bn (€2.4bn) General Motors' specifically to take a stake in its self-driving unit, GM Cruise.
The Japanese car manufacturer said its plan was to manufacture a self-driving car that could be mass produced coming on the back of the news that Toyota and Softbank created have created a new venture to develop autonomous transport services.
The plan is for Honda to contribute approximately $2bn in self-driving vehicle initiatives over a 12 year period to General Motors and then a further $750m equity investment in Cruise, bringing the total commitment to GM to $2.75bn.
According to some analysts, General Motors is one of the world leaders in the development of self-driving vehicles.
The development of self-driving technology is rapidly accelerating but this comes amid some concern over safety by consumers. For example, in March, Uber suspended self-driving car tests after a fatal accident. Also, a self-driving car owned by Apple was involved in an accident this month.
GM Cruise, which is based in San Francisco-based has developed Chevy's first driverless cars. They claim that their self-driving technology can see more than a human driver can see, with each car having 10 cameras are installed that take pictures at a frequency of 10 shots per second. GM Cruise said:
"We see more of what is going on around the car at any given time than a driver can,"
As mentioned earlier, Toyota is also partnering with Softbank to provide "new mobility services", which includes the development of autonomous services. The Japanese pair have created a joint venture partner called MONET that will start with 2bn yen in capital. The name “MONET” combines the first letters of the words “mobility network,”. The name was chosen to embody the desire of both companies to build a mobility network that provides safer and more comfortable mobility for everyone. They plan to use Toyota's electric cars to provide autonomous services in the coming years. The companies said:
"Possibilities include demand-focused just-in-time mobility services, such as meal delivery vehicles where food is prepared on the move, hospital shuttles where onboard medical examinations can be performed, mobile offices,"