New urgency from Honda, Toyota on next-gen technologies

Toyota and partner KDDI Corp. plan to develop communications modules for use in any vehicle. TOKYO — Toyota and Honda have unveiled separate initiatives for car connectivity and artificial intelligence, the latest moves by Japan’s auto industry to counter emerging tech rivals in Silicon Valley. Toyota has formed a partnership to create a global communications platform that will support unified car connectivity worldwide, rather than relying on varying networks in different markets. Meanwhile, Honda will establish a Honda R&D Innovation Lab in Tokyo around September to work on “intelligent technologies” beyond mechanical engineering, such as vehicle connectivity, robotics, brain research and visual recognition. The projects, announced independently on Thursday, June 2, underscore a new urgency felt by Japanese automakers to invest more in next-generation technologies for autonomous driving and safety…


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