GM's Self-Driving Fleet Gets $2.25 Billion Capital Infusion From SoftBank Ahead of 2019 Launch

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GM Cruise self-driving vehicles will be deployed at scale in 2019. (Photo by Karl Nielsen)

SoftBank Vision Fund will invest $2.25 billion in GM Cruise Holdings, the automaker’s self-driving car unit, to help commercialize GM’s autonomous vehicle technology in a large-scale fleet starting next year.

GM is also investing $1.1 billion in GM Cruise, strengthening its commitment to bringing self-driving cars to market in a big way.

“Our Cruise and GM teams together have made tremendous progress over the last two years,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. “Teaming up with SoftBank adds an additional strong partner as we pursue our vision of zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion.”

SoftBank Vision Fund, the world’s largest technology investment fund, is a major player in the fast-developing field of autonomous vehicles and will now own 19.6 percent of GM Cruise.

“GM has made significant progress toward realizing the dream of completely automated driving to dramatically reduce fatalities, emissions and congestions,” said Michael Ronen, managing partner of SoftBank Investment Advisers. “The GM Cruise approach of a fully integrated hardware and software stack gives it a unique competitive advantage. We are very impressed by the advances made by the Cruise and GM teams, and are thrilled to help them lead a historic transformation of the automobile industry.”

GM President Dan Ammann said the automaker is excited to join forces with a tech leader that shares GM’s view of how AV technology will change the world.

The deal is subject to regulatory approval. SoftBank Vision Fund will invest $900 million when the deal closes, and the remaining $1.35 billion when Cruise AVs are ready for commercial deployment, expected in 2019.

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