Honda announced today that it is investing $750 million in Cruise, the self-driving car startup whose majority shareholder is General Motors. The automotive company is also planning to invest $2 billion over the next 12 years to develop and manufacture self-driving cars based on Cruise’s software. Ars Technica reports: Honda has been working on autonomous vehicles since at least 2015, but progress has been slow. In 2015, the company said it hoped to have a partially self-driving car ready by 2020 but that a fully self-driving car won’t be ready until the 2030s. In 2017, Honda said it was aiming to offer freeway-only self-driving capabilities in 2020 and then reach “level 4” capability — cars that are fully self-driving, but only in certain locations and weather conditions — by 2025. That compares unfavorably to Waymo, which is planning to launch a level 4 taxi service this year. Cruise is aiming to launch a level 4 taxi service next year. Honda’s new plan is to build self-driving cars based on Cruise’s hardware and software designs. So far, Cruise has focused on modifying the Chevy Bolt for autonomous capabilities. But this new Honda vehicle will be designed from the ground up for autonomous operation.
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