Subaru, Mazda Join Toyota and SoftBank's Autonomous Car Venture
【Summary】Subaru and Mazda are joining Toyota and SoftBank’s venture to develop services that will use autonomous cars. Together, all of the major companies are looking to come out with a ride-sharing service.
At the end of last month, Toyota and SoftBank announced a venture named Monet . The partnership includes multiple automakers including Suzuki, Isuzu, and Daihatsu and is focusing on developing an on-demand self-driving service platform that would, of course, utilize autonomous vehicles. Well, two more automakers have joined the venture – Subaru and Mazda. The venture now includes five major automakers.
How The Partnership Breaks Down
According to Automotive News, Mazda, Suzuki, Subaru, Isuzu Motors, and Daihatsu (a compact subsidiary of Toyota), will each invest roughly $530,620 in the venture. The return for the investment is a 2 percent stake in Monet. Softbank and Toyota will retain their 35 percent stakes in the company, which is now valued at $26.6 million. Honda Motor Co. and Hino Motors, Toyota's truck arm, are expected to make additional investments and will retain 10 percent of the company each, reports the outlet.
Monet is expected to have on-demand bus and vehicles services in Japan within the next year. With five Japanese automakers investing in the company, it makes plenty of sense to launch with a service in the area first. After that service, Monet wants to come out with a platform for electric vehicles as soon as 2023. The services platform for EVs would be based on Toyota's "e-palette" car.
If Monet wants to take on ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft, it will need all the help it can get. Startups like Uber and Lyft have dominated the ridesharing landscape as they were some of the first on the scene, continue to expand globally, expand the number of services they offer, and have plans in place to move toward autonomous vehicles. Traditional automakers like Mazda, Toyota, and Subaru can't compete head-to-head with technology companies when it comes to developing the necessary software or business model to offer more than just private vehicles to consumers. Hence, the decision to merge traditional brands with startups.
Why Working Together Makes Sense
The companies didn't claim what autonomous system they would be using or if they would all split the costs of coming up with something entirely new for everyone to use. Toyota is currently working on developing autonomous technology, but that's geared toward regular drivers and regular cars. Monet is all about commercial use and reveals that traditional automakers don't want to be left and high when it comes to commercial options.
The addition of Subaru and Mazda to the growing list makes plenty of sense. Toyota has worked with Subaru before with the BRZ and 86 sports cars. Subaru also uses Toyota's plug-in hybrid technology in the new Crosstrek Hybrid. Mazda also works with Toyota, as the brands are working together to come out with electric powertrains . In case you didn't know, the current Toyota Yaris in the U.S. is a rebadged Mazda2.
Vineeth Joel Patel
Joel Patel has been covering all aspects of the automotive industry for four years as an editor and freelance writer for various websites. When it comes to cars, he enjoys covering the merger between technology and cars. In his spare time, Joel likes to watch baseball, work on his car, and try new foods
Subaru Wants to Sell Only EVs by Mid-2030s
Consumer Interest in Tesla Spells Bad News for the Rest of the EV Industry, Claims Bloomberg
The Kia Niro EV: It's the Electric Vehicle Consumers Should Be Buying
Magna, Lyft's Autonomous Partner, is Ditching Self-Driving Tech
Waymo Commits to Using Safety Drivers in Autonomous Vehicles Long Term
Mobileye CEO Claims Robotaxis Are Coming as Soon as 2022
Tesla’s CEO Showcases How EVs Will Talk to Pedestrians
Trump Administration Looks to Solidify Rollback of Fuel Economy Regulations
- Ride-Sharing Startup Via Launches the Largest U.S. ‘Micro-Transit' Service in California
- Toyota Leads $590 Million Funding Round in California VTOL Aircraft Startup Joby Aviation
- China’s BIAC Group to Launch a New ‘Intelligent Car’ Brand
- BMW to Build a New Auto Plant in China with Great Wall Motor to Produce the Electric MINI
- Volvo to Build an Electric Vehicle Battery Plant in the U.S.
- NVIDIA Announces DRIVE AXG Orin, One of the Most Advanced Platforms for Autonomous Vehicles
- GM to Revive the Hummer Nameplate as an Electric Pickup & SUV Brand, Sources Say
- Waymo’s Detroit Plant Helping With Autonomous Car Production
- Uber, Distracted Driver Cited for Fatal Crash in Arizona Claims NTSB
- Tesla is Without the Federal EV Tax Credit for the First Time Since the Introduction of the Model S in 2012