Japan’s Softbank is pouring more money into the future of American cars.
Softbank will invest $ 2.25 billion in General Motors’ autonomous vehicle efforts, months after it took a large ownership stake in Uber.
GM announced it is also investing $ 1.1 billion in the joint effort. CEO Mary Barra said the investment will allow GM to launch autonomous vehicles next year.
It’s the biggest partnership between a tech investment company and an automaker in the effort to develop self-driving cars.
Softbank will own about 20% of a joint venture that has been set up to bring GM’s self-driving technology to market. Softbank will invest $ 900 million now, and the additional $ 1.35 billion when GM’s autonomous vehicles are ready for commercial deployment.
The self-driving car division of GM that is getting the investment is a separate company known as GM Cruise.
Both automakers and tech companies have been making a major push to develop the technology needed to bring self-driving cars to market. While many cars now on the market have features of self-driving vehicles, full self-driving cars have been limited to test vehicles to this point.
GM ( stock rose more than 8% in premarket trading on Thursday’s announcement. )