Toyota, Denso Form Venture To Create Advanced Chips For Self-Driving And Connected Cars
This is the latest step in Toyota’s strategy to shift more advanced electronics development to Denso, which is a key supplier of advanced components for Toyota and Lexus brand cars and trucks.
Toyota Motor Corp. and Denso Corp. announced plans Wednesday to form a joint venture to develop the next-generation semiconductors for future connected and self-driving vehicles.
Denso, one of the world’s largest auto suppliers, will own 51% of the new business, with Toyota to own the remaining portion. Assuming the project receives anti-trust and other regulatory approvals, the companies plan to launch the venture in April 2020 with 500 employees and about 50 million yen ($458,968) in initial capital. Toyota owns about 24% of Denso.
This is the latest step in Toyota’s strategy to shift more advanced electronics development to Denso, which is a key supplier of advanced components for Toyota and Lexus brand cars and trucks. This particular venture will concentrate on such products as power modules for electric vehicles and monitoring sensors for automated vehicles. The news comes on the heels of Toyota’s plan to work with Apollo, the consortium led by China’s Baidu created to develop artificial intelligence for self-driving vehicles.
Sensors are becoming as important to new vehicles as powertrains, and the number of sensors in a vehicle continues to increase. Not only do they enable autonomous vehicles to safely navigate in urban traffic, but they are essential to improving communication between vehicles and communication of vehicles with traffic lights and other traffic-control infrastructure. The venture is taking shape as companies including Intel and its Mobileye division and Nvidia have positioned themselves to be the leading providers of advanced compute systems for autonomous vehicles.
Last year Toyota and Denso companies agreed to combine the development and production of electronic components within Denso’s research center to accelerate innovation and bring systems to market sooner.
Toyota and Denso are also collaborating with Aisin Seiki Co., another crucial Toyota supplier, to establish an autonomous driving research center in Tokyo.