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OEMs Enter Partnerships to Develop Mobility Services and Access Automation

Honda and truck firm Hino are joining Toyota and Softbank’s venture Monet which focuses on developing self-driving car services in Japan while Daimler Trucks is acquiring a major stake in Torc Robotics [1] [2].

Both Honda and Hino will take a 10% stake in Monet which plans to roll out on-demand bus and car services in Japan next year. The plan is to also launch a platform that will operate self-driving vehicles by 2023. By leveraging data compiled from mobile phone users (such as location) as well as data on steering, braking and vehicle surroundings collected from Toyota cars, the aim is to create a domestic platform that transports people and goods, along with mobile shops, restaurants and public facilities.

Daimler Trucks is making a similar move by acquiring a majority stake in Torc Robotics which specialize in self-driving software and sensors. Both companies have stated that the partnership will enable Daimler developers to work with Torc while enabling them to move into the trucking market.

 

Personal comments

Many OEM: s believes that the fastest track to access commercialization of mobility services is through partnerships with tech start-ups by combining their agility and OEM: s long experience in the automotive industry. These two partnerships are another example of that belief. As this is still a relatively new industry we are yet to see if this is the strategy that will ensure longevity.

 

Written by Mahdere DW Amanuel, RISE Viktoria.

 

Sources

1. 2019-03-28. Honda, Hino hitch ride with self-driving venture of SoftBank, Toyota.

2. 2019-03-28. Daimler Trucks buys a majority stake in self-driving tech company Torc Robotics.