Japan’s top automaker, Toyota, and smaller rival Suzuki are partnering in the development of self-driving car technology, as manufacturers around the world grapple with innovations in the industry.
Under the deal, announced Wednesday, Toyota will take a 4.9% stake in Suzuki Motor Corp. valued at 96 billion yen ($908 million), and Suzuki will make a 48 billion yen ($454 million) investment in Toyota.
In 2017, Toyota Motor Corp. and Suzuki agreed to work together in ecological and safety technology. That deal did not include owning mutual stakes.
Auto manufacturers are facing a costly shift toward the use of artificial intelligence, the internet and other technologies. Partnerships are one way to share the enormous costs.
Last month, Volkswagen AG of Germany said it is investing $2.6 billion in a Pittsburgh autonomous vehicle company that’s mostly owned by Ford, Argo AI, with a plan to put autonomous vehicles on the roads in the U.S. and Europe as early as 2021.