In the partnership, says GM, Honda will work together with Cruise and General Motors to fund and 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. In addition, Cruise, General Motors, and Honda will explore global opportunities for commercial deployment of the Cruise network.
“Honda will work with Cruise and GM to develop an innovative, space-efficient autonomous vehicle that delivers an exceptional experience and minimizes congestion on crowded city streets,” says Kyle Vogt, CEO of Cruise. “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.”
As part of the agreement, Honda will contribute approximately $2 billion over 12 years to these initiatives. This is in addition to a previous $750 million equity investment that the Japanese automaker has in Cruise. In addition to recently announced SoftBank investments, this transaction brings the post-money valuation of Cruise to $14.6 billion.
“This is the logical next step in General Motors and Honda’s relationship,” says General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra, “given our joint work on electric vehicles, and our close integration with Cruise. 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’s Executive Vice President and Representative Director COO Seiji Kuraishi adds, “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’s Vogt adds, “We’ve been quietly prototyping a ground-breaking new vehicle over the past two years that is fully released from the constraints of having a driver behind the wheel. Building a new vehicle that has an incredible user experience, optimal operational parameters, and efficient use of space is the ultimate engineering challenge. We’re going to do this right, and by joining forces with Honda we’ve found the perfect partner to help make it happen.”
GM unit unveils first ‘real’ self-driving car
SoftBank, GM deal to speed self-driving car deployment
GM seeks approval for autonomous car with no manual controls in 2019
Honda to launch Level 4 autonomous vehicle by 2025