Honda and Toyota speed up their efforts on connected-cars tech image

Both Japanese automakers have recently announced separate initiatives to help with further development of car-connectivity and self-driving cars.

Toyota has formed a partnership with KDDI Corporation to establish a global data communications platform that will improve car connectivity in its vehicles. The world’s largest automaker by sales aims to provide the newly announced tech as standard equipment in nearly all new Toyota and Lexus cars sold in Japan and the US by 2020. The system will be gradually fitted on its models from other major markets over time. Lately, the company has been very aggressive with its tech investments, as it is spending 1 billion dollars to fund research in artificial intelligence, robotics and materials science and it already opened three such labs in the United States. It also reportedly aims to buy two robotics divisions from Google parent Alphabet, while, last month, it teamed-up with Uber to explore ride-sharing business.

Meanwhile, Honda has not been so vocal with its tech development process. However, it announced its intention to further strengthen its research efforts into intelligent technologies such as robotics, brain research and visual/aural recognition by establishing Honda R&D Innovation Lab in Tokyo by around September this year. Furthermore, it established a satellite operation in California called the Honda Silicon Valley Lab to collaborate with local companies around autonomous technologies.

Honda also showed off two driverless cars it has been testing at the GoMentum Station proving grounds, a 5,000-acre site with 20 miles of paved roadway located in Concord, California, as it aims “to put automated driving technologies into practical use on highways around 2020.”

Via Automotive News