Softbank Group Corporation and Toyota Motor Corporation will work together to build a platform to operate self-driving vehicles based on Toyota's "e-Palette" concept. Japan's most influential tech firm and its biggest automaker's joint venture will be called MONET (short for mobility network) and envisions a future where people don't own as many cars and instead use its multi-purpose, autonomous mobility service as pay-per-use mobile restaurants, shops, hospitals, hotels and other services. The joint venture is a one of many recent automotive and technology deals as companies look to share expertise and costs in the global pursuit of autonomous driving technology.
Softbank Group Corp will own more than half of MONET, which will begin with an initial capital amount of $17.5 million. Toyota plans to product the hardware and software for the vehicles, while Softbank will provide the analysis of transportation data to make sure vehicles are sent to the right places at the right times.
Honda Motor announced last week that it would take a 5.7% stake in General Motors Co's Cruise self-driving vehicle unit with an investment of $2.75 billion.
Renault SA and Daimler AG also announced last week that they may look to broaden their cooperation to mobility services and self-driving vehicles.
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