EVLN: HMC spendimg $2.75B 2buy into GM's auton-unit Cruise

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EVLN: HMC spendimg $2.75B 2buy into GM's auton-unit Cruise

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GM, Honda teaming up to produce self-driving vehicles
Self-driving car
2018-10-03  Cathy Bussewitz  Associated Press

A self-driving Chevrolet Bolt EV is displayed June 13, 2017, at GM's Orion
Assembly in Lake Orion, Mich. General Motors and Honda have announced they
are joining forces on autonomous vehicles technology. (Jose Juarez / AP)


General Motors and Honda are teaming 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 in the autonomous vehicle
unit run by General Motors Co., called GM Cruise, which is considered a
leader in the nascent industry.

The goal, the companies said Wednesday, is to develop an autonomous vehicle
that can be produced at a high volume and deployed globally. They will also
explore commercial ways to use the Cruise network around the world.

The partnership comes as the main players in the autonomous vehicle space
shift their focus from developing the technology to figuring out how to make
the systems safer and more affordable.

Teaming up is a way to add a layer of safety, with some groups using one
company's software to operate a vehicle and a partner's software to act as a
backup, said Sam Abuelsamid, Navigant Research analyst.

"As companies move from the research phase into the production phase,
there's a lot of additional complexity that has to be added to those already
complex systems," he said.

Ride-hailing giant Uber announced in August a partnership with Toyota to
develop autonomous vehicles months after one of its self-driving cars struck
and killed a pedestrian crossing a dark street in Arizona.

Other partnerships include BMW with Fiat Chrysler, chipmaker Intel and
visual recognition software maker Mobileye; and German automaker Daimler AG
with supplier Bosch to develop autonomous taxis.

GM has been widely viewed as being in second place in the autonomous vehicle
race, with Google's Waymo on top. Waymo plans to put autonomous vehicles on
the road in a ride-sharing service in the Phoenix area before the end of
this year, while GM has said it plans to roll out its fully-autonomous
vehicles for passengers to use in 2019.

Waymo said in May that it would buy up to 62,000 more minivans from Fiat
Chrysler to expand its ride-hailing venture. Waymo and Fiat Chrysler also
said that they were discussing the use of Waymo technology in Fiat-Chrysler
self-driving vehicles that would be sold to the public.

Tesla is developing autonomous vehicles, but some analysts doubt that its
system is on par with the rest of the industry, because it uses only
cameras, ultrasonic sensors and a single radar — compared to dozens of
sensors in competitors' systems — and it doesn't have enough memory
bandwidth to process all the data, Abuelsamid said.

Michelle Krebs, an executive analyst with Autotrader, believes the
partnership between GM and Honda is critical in the development of such
advanced technology because it requires huge investments 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 zero-emissions and zero-collision world," said Seiji Kuraishi,
an executive vice president at Honda.

Honda and GM 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.

In May, the Japanese tech firm investment firm SoftBank announced it was
taking a 20 percent 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. SoftBank also owns big stakes in Uber as
well as in India's Ola ride service and Didi Chuxing, China's top
ride-hailing firm.
[© chicagotribune.com]

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GM’s Cruise scores $750 million investment from Honda, teases new autonomous
Oct. 3rd 2018  “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. Together ...

GM, Honda team up to produce self-driving cars
Oct. 3, 2018  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 ...

GM, Honda to collaborate to deliver self-driving cars for 'global
Oct. 3, 2018  GM, Honda to collaborate to deliver self-driving cars for
'global deployment' .... and Honda's relationship, given our joint work on
electric vehicles, and our close ...

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