SoftBank and GM Join Forces on Large-Scale AV Deployment

Jun 4, 2018 11:45 AM ET
General Motors President Dan Ammann (left) and GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra (right) give SoftBank Investment Advisers Managing Partner Michael Ronen a closer look at the Cruise AV on Wednesday, May 30, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Steve Fecht for General Motors)

SoftBank and GM join forces on large-scale AV deployment

In the next critical move toward the commercialization of autonomous vehicles, this week General Motors announced an historic deal with SoftBank Vision Fund. The world’s largest tech and ridesharing investor will invest $2.25 billion in GM Cruise, our recently formed majority owned subsidiary. With the addition of $1.1 billion from GM, the funds will drive large AV commercialization beginning in 2019.  

“We’re excited to be joining forces with a tech leader who shares our belief that AV technology will change the world,” said GM President Dan Ammann. “We look forward to partnering with SoftBank as we work toward deploying this technology safely and in massive scale.” 

Collaborations with key partners and acquisitions have been integral to the rapid innovation and commercialization of self-driving vehicles. The autonomous expertise acquired through GM Cruise combined with our manufacturing scale has enabled accelerated vehicle development. Production versions of the all-electric Cruise AV will be built at the Orion Assembly plant in Michigan.

With the acquisition of Strobe, the light detection and ranging (LIDAR) developer, self-driving technology and cost will rapidly improve. 

“GM has made significant progress toward realizing the dream of completely automated driving to dramatically reduce fatalities, emissions and congestion,” said Michael Ronen, managing partner, SoftBank Investment Advisers. “The GM Cruise approach of a fully integrated hardware and software stack gives it a unique competitive advantage. We are very impressed by the advances made by the Cruise and GM teams, and are thrilled to help them lead a historic transformation of the automobile industry.”

Learn more about the recent collaboration here.