Toyota Motor and Japanese tech giant SoftBank Corp will reportedly invest in a joint venture aimed at developing new mobility solutions combining autonomous driving and ride-hailing similar to Toyota’s e-Palette.
The company which is expected to be named Monet Technologies Corp and will be 50.25 per cent owned by SoftBank and 49.75 per cent by Toyota. Reports suggest that both the companies will make an initial outlay of $17.54 million and later increase it to $87.72 million over time.
The first phase of operation will commence from 2020 and will aim at deploying a ride-hailing service around Japan. Post this, the company stated that the second phase which will begin after 2020 will focus on deploying the e-Palette vehicle to complete minimal tasks such as deliver food and medical care.
A Toyota spokesperson claimed that the services of the company will be centred in Japan in the initial stage and will eventually be extended to overseas as well. The company is set to take off with about 30 employees from Toyota and SoftBank and will operate under the leadership of SoftBank’s Chief Technological Officer, Junichi Miyakawa.
“Softbank alone and an automaker alone can’t do everything alone,” Miyakawa said. “It is better to work together. We believe we can catch up with the more advanced players abroad.”
“Everything starts with the microprocessor,” SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son said. “This is an extension of the semiconductor revolution. Our paths are crossing, finally.”