Honda is investing a cool $2.75 billion dollars in GM’s Cruise Automation subsidiary, diversifying the Japanese auto manufacturer’s investments in self-driving cars. Earlier this year, Honda also announced a partnership with Waymo to build self-driving cars.
The Honda-GM transaction places a staggering $14.6 billion valuation on privately-held Cruise Automation.
Joann Muller at Axios writes that the centerpiece of this deal (besides the cash) is Honda’s interior design expertise.
“Honda brings unique engineering talents, especially when it comes to the efficient use of interior vehicle space…Ever look inside a Honda Fit? You’ll be shocked how much room there is inside such a tiny car…getting the user experience right is the ultimate engineering challenge. Honda is the perfect partner.”
There have been a lot of concept cars in the press, highlighting what designs might be possible for self-driving cars. These concepts often strike me as similar to the fashion designs that roll down New York runways — interesting conceptually, but a far cry from the designs that will hit the mass market. So I’m excited to see what Cruise-GM-Honda rolls out for real passengers.