Toyota and SoftBank will create services using self-driving vehicles

Toyota has partnered with SoftBank to create a range of services using self-driving vehicles, from food and goods delivery to medical check-ups, as it looks to deepen links with tech groups to adapt to the era of autonomous driving. The carmaker has attempted to break out of traditional business groupings and alliances, looking to link up with tech groups such as Uber and Amazon to find ways of making money beyond manufacturing and delivering vehicles. The latest partnership will combine Toyota’s self-driving technology with SoftBank’s platform for the internet of things… The partnership comes as carmakers face the threat from tech groups in mastering the field of autonomous driving. Waymo, the self-driving unit of Google’s parent Alphabet, started testing self-driving technology long before traditional carmakers. Earlier this year, SoftBank invested $2.25 billion in Cruise, GM’s self-driving car unit, through its Saudi-backed $100 billion Vision Fund… Toyota… said it had approached SoftBank because of its links to tech companies, especially ride-hailing providers. SoftBank has stakes in Uber, Didi Chuxing, Grab and Ola, which are seen as essential to Toyota’s vision for developing mobility services using autonomous vehicles.

Kana Inagaki