Honda and General Motors join forces to build autonomous cars

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Auto maker Honda is to invest US$2.75bn in General Motors and Cruise to develop a purpose-built autonomous vehicle for large-scale manufacture and deployment, it has been announced.

The Japanese car maker has committed the large sum of cash over 12 years to reach the shared goal with General Motors to transform mobility. Combined with recent SoftBank investments in Cruise, the total valuation of the AV company is now a combined US$14.6bn.

“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 zero-emissions and zero-collision world,” said Seiji Kuraishi, Honda executive vice president and representative director COO. “We will complement their strengths through our expertise in space efficiency and design to develop the most desirable and effective shared autonomous vehicle.”

Details of the vehicle were not revealed. However, GM previously gave a glimpse of its autonomous ambition back in January when it unveiled images of its Cruise AV featuring no steering wheel or pedals.

“This is the logical next step in General Motors and Honda’s relationship, given our joint work on electric vehicles, and our close integration with Cruise,” said Mary Barra, General Motors chairman and CEO. “Together, we can provide Cruise with the world’s best design, engineering and manufacturing expertise, and global reach to establish them as the leader in autonomous vehicle technology – while they move to deploy self-driving vehicles at scale.”

By James Billington

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