SoftBank joint venture uses connected car data to improve U.S. roads

SoftBank has formed a joint venture with two other Japanese companies to support road maintenance programs in the U.S. using real-time data garnered from connected cars.

The new venture, known as i-Probe, was initially created as a subsidiary of Japanese construction services company Pacific Consultants (PCKK) last year, then in March it was transferred to a joint venture co-owned by SoftBank, PCKK, and engineering services company Oriental Consultants Global (OCG). Underpinning i-Probe’s business is SoftBank’s experience of the internet of things (IoT) and big data processing, which will be paired with PCKK and OCG’s knowledge of road infrastructure, to sell insights to public agencies responsible for fixing potholes, bumps, and similar road defects.