INTERNATIONAL – Honda Motor will invest $2 billion (R29bn) over 12 years in General Motors’s Cruise autonomous vehicle unit after paying $750 million for a stake in the project, seen as among the leaders in self-driving car development.
Honda will work with GM and the unit to fund and develop an autonomous vehicle for Cruise that can be built in high volumes for global deployment, GM said.
GM Cruise and Alphabet’s Waymo are often described as leading the pack of technology and auto companies competing to create self-driving cars and integrate them into ride services fleets.
Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp in May said it would invest $2.25bn in Cruise, compared to the total $2.75bn commitment announced by Honda and GM on Wednesday. They said the project was now valued at $14.6bn.
Ford Motor and BMW both plan to deploy self-driving cars in 2021; Tesla has talked about creating a network of self-driving cars and Uber says it is sticking with a development effort despite an accident in which its self-driving car killed a woman in Arizona.
“With the backing of General Motors, SoftBank and now Honda, Cruise is deeply resourced to accomplish our mission to safely deploy autonomous technology across the globe,” Cruise chief executive Kyle Vogt said.