Two titans of Japanese industry, Toyota Motor Corp. and SoftBank Group Corp., said Oct. 4 they are setting up a new joint venture to develop autonomous driving technologies and other on-demand services, including food deliveries, medical care and office space.
Funded with an initial investment of ¥2 billion, the new company, Monet Technologies Corp., will begin operations as early as next March. While the on-demand services will initially roll out using traditional vehicles, by 2020 the company is aiming to utilize Toyota’s driverless concept vehicle, the e-Palette.
Both Toyota President Akio Toyoda and SoftBank Chairman Masayoshi Son painted the partnership as part of a broader vision to embrace new business ideas in an age of artificial intelligence.
At a news conference in Tokyo, Son said the partnership will harness the strengths of each company and their synergy together.
“We believe we will be able to drive a new mobility in the world that is totally different and totally new,” he said. (The Japan Times)