Cruise Automation, the self-driving unit of General Motors, is teaming up with Honda, one of the world’s largest automakers, the company announced on Wednesday. The two auto giants will collaborate on a purpose-built autonomous vehicle that can serve a “wide variety” of use cases and be manufactured at high volumes for global deployment. Honda will devote $2 billion to the effort over 12 years, which, together with a $750 million equity investment in Cruise, brings the total commitment to $2.75 billion.
It’s another enormous win for GM’s Cruise. Just last May, it announced a $2.25 billion investment from the SoftBank Vision Fund, a major venture investment effort that was started by the Japanese tech giant in 2016. Today’s transaction brings Cruise’s post-money valuation to $14.6 billion.
GM bought Cruise in 2016 for $1 billion to jump-start its self-driving efforts. The company says it plans to deploy its fully driverless cars, without steering wheel or pedals, for commercial ride-hailing use as early as 2019.