Softbank, Toyota join forces for robot cars, mobility services

Softbank, Toyota join forces for robot cars, mobility services

Business news |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

To give their joint development works a place where it can be realized, the two technology giants agreed on establishing a joint venture named MONET Technologies Corp. MONET will go live until April 2019 at latest. MONET stands for “Mobility Network”. The JV will provide the necessary coordination between Toyota’s Mobility Services Platform MSPF, the carmakers information infrastructure for connected vehicles and Softbank’s IoT platform. The latter was initially built to create value from the collection and analysis of data acquired from smartphones and sensor devices.

By utilizing a wide range of different forms and types of data related to automotive and human mobility on both platforms, MONET will optimize supply and demand in transportation and, ultimately, launch Mobility-as-a-Servcies (MaaS) businesses capable of resolving social mobility issues, the companies informed in a press conference.

Toyota’s e-palette autonomous electric car
will serve as mobility platform for a broad range of services.

Based on the notion that cars are ultimately a part of the Internet of Things, MONET will initially develop and roll out MaaS models based on autonomous vehicles. Examples are shuttle services to hospitals, fresh and hot food delivery (which of course will be cooked by a robot chef), mobile work spaces, or rolling yet unmanned groceries with electronic, interactive purchase models. Further applications will be developed and implemented according to user demand.

The “autono-MaaS” businesess will include, among others, Toyota’s e-Palette, a dedicated battery electric vehicle for mobility services.

With 50,25% of the shares, Softbank will dominate the joint venture. The company is said to be well positioned to develop such services because it already has a holding in mobility services company Uber.

Related articles:

SoftBank, GM deal to speed self-driving car deployment

Honda, GM Cruise partner on new autonomous vehicle

Chip designer ARM to be bought by Japan’s Softbank


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