Honda and GM to co-develop autonomous technology
Honda is set to invest $US4.25 billion in General Motors’ GM Cruise autonomous vehicle unit.
The collaboration was detailed on Wednesday and will result in a global, high-volume autonomous vehicle. They will also look at deploying the Cruise network around the world.
Manufacturers are working hard at refining their autonomous driving systems, including making them safer and more affordable. By merging efforts, brands can reduce costs, speed up development time, and smooth out potential production issues.
Honda will make an immediate investment of $1.1 million, and will tip another $3 billion over twelve years into the Cruise project. Honda and GM are already partnering on fuel cell vehicles and batteries for the North American EV market.
Other partnerships include BMW and Fiat Chrysler; chipmaker Intel and visual recognition software maker Mobileye; and German automaker Daimler AG with supplier Bosch are developing an autonomous taxi.
Google’s Waymo is regarded as the leading autonomous vehicle, with plans in place to roll out a ride-sharing service in the Phoenix, Arizona area before the year ends. Waymo will use up to 62,000 Fiat Chrysler minicans to expand its operations. GM is scheduled to unveil fully-autonomous passenger vehicles next year.
Tesla is also developing autonomous cars but some analysts aren’t convinced of its system’s capabilities as it uses cameras, ultrasonic sensors and a single radar — compared to dozens of sensors in competitor’s systems — and it reportedly doesn't have enough memory bandwidth to process the data fast enough.