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GM, Honda working together on $2.7B plan to build self-driving cars

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General Motors and Honda Motors announced Wednesday they will work together on developing a self-driving vehicle, in a project for which they will invest $2.7 billion. File Photo by Brian Kersey/UPI

By Sommer Brokaw, UPI

General Motors and Honda are mounting a team effort to build an autonomous vehicle, the automakers announced Wednesday.

The new self-driving vehicle will be produced at great numbers and sold worldwide, the companies said.

About $2.75 billion will be spent on the project over 12 years -- $2 billion from Honda and $750 million from Cruise, GM's autonomous vehicle division.

"Together, we can provide Cruise with the world's best design, engineering and manufacturing expertise, and global reach to establish them as the leader in autonomous vehicle technology," General Motors CEO Mary Barra said.

GM President Dan Ammann said the vehicle is "the next evolution in the future of transportation."

Cruise founder Kyle Vogt used adjectives like "innovative," "space-efficient," and "multi-purpose," to describe the new automobile.

"Honda chose to collaborate with Cruise and General Motors based on their leadership in autonomous and electric vehicle technology and our shared vision of a zero-emissions and zero-collision world," Honda Executive Vice President Seiji Kuraishi said Wednesday. "We will complement their strengths through our expertise in space efficiency and design to develop the most desirable and effective shared autonomous vehicle."

The joint project will compete with other automakers already spending billions on self-driving technology.

This week, Ford called for engineers of self-driving vehicles to develop technology to allow the cars to let pedestrians know what moves they're going to make on the road.

"We want everyone to trust self-driving vehicles -- no matter if they are riders in these vehicles themselves or pedestrians, cyclists, scooter users or other drivers sharing the road," John Shutko, Ford wrote in a blog post. "Having one, universal communication interface people across geographies and age groups can understand is critical for the successful deployment of self-driving technology."

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