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Toyota, Softbank’s Self-Driving Venture to Include Five More Automakers

The self-driving automotive joint venture of SoftBank Corp and Toyota Motor will receive funding from more five Japanese automakers, two sources accustomed to the matter stated, broadening support for the all-Japan effort.

Mazda Motor Corp, Suzuki Motor Corp, Subaru Corp, Isuzu Motors and Toyota unit Daihatsu will each take a stake of some proportion within the venture, the sources mentioned.

With the shift to autonomous driving and electrical automobiles making ructions across the trade and spawning once unlikely collaborations, the project, Monet, which is growing an on-demand self-driving service platform, hopes to assist Japan’s auto industry experience the shift.

Monet declared in October, added funding from Honda Motor Co and Toyota’s truck-making sister firm Hino Motors in March, leaving SoftBank the biggest shareholder with a 40.2% share and Toyota owning 39.8%.

When Honda and Hino joined in March, the overall funding in Monet was 2.5 billion yen ($23.20 million). It was not instantly clear how much the five new companions are investing in the project.

Monet refused to touch upon the investment, which was first recorded by Nikkei. Even Suzuki, Mazada, Subaru, Isuzu, and Daihatsu rejected to comment.

The project’s head stated earlier this month it was planning to expand its traders’ base. Monet hopes to export a basic model of the service to Southeast Asia in 2020 and intends to launch on-demand bus and automotive services in Japan by 2020.

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