Following a large investment from SoftBank earlier this year, General Motors and its Cruise Automation subsidiary welcome a new partner: Honda.
The Japanese automaker and GM announced on Wednesday they will join forces to develop self-driving cars and work to deploy the technology at a large scale. With the partnership, Honda will invest $2 billion over 12 years into GM Cruise with $750 million in equity now. The investment brings GM Cruise’s value to $14.6 billion.
Honda will work directly with GM and Cruise to develop a “purpose-built autonomous vehicle for Cruise that can serve a wide variety of use cases and be manufactured at high volume for global deployment,” said the automakers. Both GM and Honda will begin to explore global opportunities for the development of a new self-driving car network as well.
“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 General Motors Chairman and 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.”
Honda said it chose GM after noting its continued work in the self-driving car and electric car space.
“We will complement their strengths through our expertise in space efficiency and design to develop the most desirable and effective shared autonomous vehicle,” Honda Executive Vice President and Representative Director COO Seiji Kuraishi, said.
GM and Honda have continued to cozy up to one another in recent years. Both automakers agreed to jointly develop next-generation electric-car batteries this past June with Honda prepared to source the batteries from GM directly. Additionally, the two companies established a joint venture for fuel-cell manufacturing with an $85 million investment into the Brownstown, Michigan, facility.