GM Cruise LLC, a 5-year old company involved in autonomous car technology, and General Motors have announced that they have joined forces with Honda Motor to pursue the shared goal of transforming mobility through the large-scale deployment of autonomous vehicle technology.

Honda will work jointly with Cruise and GM to fund and develop a purpose-built autonomous vehicle for Cruise that can serve a wide variety of usage conditions and be manufactured at high volume for global deployment.

In addition, Cruise, General Motors and Honda will explore global opportunities for commercial deployment of the Cruise network. Honda will contribute approximately US$2 billion over 12 years to these initiatives which, together with a US$750 million equity investment in Cruise, brings its total commitment to the project to US$2.75 billion.

In addition to the recently announced SoftBank investments, this transaction brings the post-money valuation of Cruise to US$14.6 billion.

A Cruise prototype which is used for trials in the real world.

“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 GM Chairman & CEO, Mary Barra. “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.”

Explaining Honda’s involvement, the company’s Executive Vice-President and Representative Director COO, Seiji Kuraishi, said: “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. We will complement their strengths through our expertise in space efficiency and design to develop the most desirable and effective shared autonomous vehicle.”

Cruise aims to solve problems that have never been solved before in an industry that’s still in its infancy. The company has a variety of technical teams with diverse skillsets and experience seamlessly working together to develop self-driving technology for Level 4 and 5 autonomous vehicles which will be completely driverless.

Cruiser has already built many prototypes for testing and with Honda involved, it will be able to start moving into high-volume manufacturing which will help to lower costs.

“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,” said Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt.

“The Honda partnership paves the way for massive scale by bringing a beautiful, efficient, and purpose-built vehicle to our network of shared autonomous vehicles,” he said.

“Sharing our technology with a partner beyond our immediate GM family is the right move for our customers and their communities. It’s also the right move for Honda and accelerates our mission to bring self-driving cars to as many people as possible,” he added.

[Chips Yap]

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