SoftBank and General Motors both are investing in GM Cruise Holdings LLC in a bid to commercialize autonomous vehicle technology at large scale.
The SoftBank Vision Fund will invest $2.25 billion and GM will invest an additional $1.1 billion upon closing of the transaction, according an announcement by General Motors.
“GM has made significant progress toward realizing the dream of completely automated driving to dramatically reduce fatalities, emissions and congestion,” stated 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.”
The SoftBank investment will be made in two stages. At the closing of the transaction, the Vision Fund will invest $900 million. When the Cruise autonomous vehicles are ready for commercial deployment, the fund will complete the investment with $1.35 billion, giving the SoftBank Vision Fund a 20% stake in GM Cruise.
“Teaming up with SoftBank adds an additional strong partner as we pursue our vision of zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion,” stated GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra.
GM acquired Cruise Automation, a company focused on developing self-driving cars, two years ago for $1 billion.
The SoftBank and GM investments are expected to provide the capital necessary to reach commercialization at scale beginning in 2019.