Honda and General Motors team up for self-driving cars

Honda and General Motors have struck a deal to team up in developing self-driving cars, creating the most powerful rival from the traditional automotive industry to technology upstarts led by Alphabet’s Waymo. The partnership will focus on Cruise, GM’s unit for autonomous vehicles, which secured the $2.75 billion investment from Honda just four months after the SoftBank Vision Fund invested $2.25 billion in the operation… Several traditional carmakers in Detroit, Japan and Germany have moved decisively to catch up with Silicon Valley’s early investment in self-driving cars, particularly Waymo — the self-driving unit of Google parent Alphabet — which started testing technologies years before GM, Ford and Daimler entered the market. Honda’s backing, which will see the Japanese group take a $750 million equity stake in Cruise and invest a further $2 billion in the unit over the next 12 years, helps strengthen GM’s position as one of the main challengers to Waymo… GM has said it plans to launch a commercial fleet of autonomous cars without steering wheels or pedals next year, and is viewed as having an edge over rival Ford and other traditional manufacturers in developing its own systems.

Patti Waldmeir, Pan Kwan Yuk and Peter Wells