SoftBank To Tie Up Driverless Car Deal With Toyota

October 4, 2018 – Toyota Motor Corp. and SoftBank Group Corp. are set to tie up in developing advanced automotive technologies such as self-driving cars and ride-sharing services.

Under their comprehensive partnership on mobility, the leading automaker and telecommunication conglomerate will set up and jointly invest in a new company that will work to boost services based on information and communication technologies, the sources said.

The two companies said they will hold a joint press conference in the afternoon, attended by Toyota President Akio Toyoda and SoftBank Group Chairman Masayoshi Son.

Toyota and SoftBank have a connection through Uber Technologies Inc. SoftBank is the largest shareholder in the ride-hailing operator while Toyota has been allied with the U.S. company in developing autonomous driving capabilities.

The move will add to the intensifying global competition in developing and commercializing technologies for autonomous driving, with such IT giants as Apple Inc. and Google Inc. having already announced initiatives in a challenge to traditional automakers like Toyota.

Honda Motor Co. said yesterday it will invest $2.75 billion in a project to develop an autonomous vehicle with General Motors Co. and its unit GM Cruise LLC.

The alliance formed by Renault SA, Nissan Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. said the same day it is exploring a tie-up with Daimler AG of Germany in developing self-driving technologies.