tech

Toyota, Suzuki partnering in self-driving car technology

6 Comments
By YURI KAGEYAMA

Japan's top automaker, Toyota, and smaller rival Suzuki are partnering in the development of self-driving car technology, as manufacturers around the world grapple with innovations in the industry.

Under the deal, announced Wednesday, Toyota will take a 4.9% stake in Suzuki Motor Corp valued at 96 billion yen ($908 million), and Suzuki will make a 48 billion yen ($454 million) investment in Toyota.

In 2017, Toyota and Suzuki agreed to work together in ecological and safety technology. That deal did not include owning mutual stakes.

Auto manufacturers are facing a costly shift toward the use of artificial intelligence, the internet and other technologies. Partnerships are one way to share the enormous costs.

Last month, Volkswagen AG of Germany said it is investing $2.6 billion in a Pittsburgh autonomous vehicle company that's mostly owned by Ford, Argo AI, with a plan to put autonomous vehicles on the roads in the U.S. and Europe as early as 2021.

Under the deal, Ford will use VW's electric vehicle platform to build zero-emissions cars for the European market starting in 2023.

In February, BMW and Daimler said they are working together on self-driving cars.

Under their earlier agreement signed in 2017, Toyota and Suzuki are also cooperating in the Indian market, where Suzuki remains a strong player. They said they will continue to expand their collaboration.

"The automobile sector is currently experiencing a turning point unprecedented in both scope and scale," Toyota and Suzuki said in a statement, referring to stronger environmental regulations as well as newcomers in the mobility business.

They said deepening their relationship will help both companies grow and meet challenges.

Google autonomous vehicle spinoff Waymo is among the new players. Uber, which offers ride-hailing services and food delivery, is also working on autonomous driving.

Toyota, the maker of the top-selling hybrid, Prius, has invested in Uber.

© Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

6 Comments
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What's the point of this partnership? Both suck at self-driving technology.

If Toyota partnered with a self-driving technology specialist like Waymo, Uber, Intel, GM's SuperCruise etc, I understand, but Suzuki?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Samit BasuToday  07:28 am JST

What's the point of this partnership?

The point is in the title.

Both suck at self-driving technology.

What makes you say this? It's just a sour opinion. I wonder why.... South Korean car makers must wait for Japanese patents to expire to use their technology now, and self-driving tech is no different.

If Toyota partnered with a self-driving technology specialist like Waymo, Uber, Intel, GM's SuperCruise etc, I understand, but Suzuki?

You don't understand how Japan works. Instead of relying on outside expertise off the bat, they always try to develop technology at home first. If they can't progress they then look for outside partners. This has been the case for many decades, why don't you know this? Is it a feeble attempt to bash Japan again?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Samit Basu

Very weak attempt, please try harder.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Why does nobody work with Tesla ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

^ If you try to do it yourself, you will learn the know-how. If you partner with another company, chances are very high that certain technologies will not be released to the partner(s). With your own knowledge, you can further evolve from that. It will take longer time, but the rewards would be greater.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What's the point of this partnership?

Why don't you ask all those South Korean technology companies that are scrambling to come up with their own materials now that they're worried Japan won't supply them?

I bet they wish they teamed up at home to come up with their own technology in the first place too.

But Toyota and Suzuki are the dumb ones... Ha.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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