SoftBank's venture fund is investing $2.25 billion in the General Motors autonomous vehicle initiative that the automaker hopes will produce a commercially viable fully autonomous vehicle in 2019.
 - Photo courtesy of General Motors.

SoftBank's venture fund is investing $2.25 billion in the General Motors autonomous vehicle initiative that the automaker hopes will produce a commercially viable fully autonomous vehicle in 2019.

Photo courtesy of General Motors.

The General Motors autonomous driving unit, GM Cruise Holdings, will receive $3.35 billion in new capital investment to further accelerate its research toward producing a market-ready fully autonomous vehicle, the company has announced.

SoftBank's strategic venture unit, SoftBank Vision Fund, will invest $2.25 billion, and General Motors will add another $1.1 billion after the closing of that transaction.

"Our Cruise and GM teams together have made tremendous progress over the last two years," said Mary Barra, GM's chairman and chief executive. "Teaming up with SoftBank adds an additional strong partner as we pursue our vision of zero crashes, zero emissions, and zero congestion."

SoftBank's investment will be made in two tranches, including an initial $900 million. The second tranche of $1.35 billion will come when the Cruise automated vehicles are ready for commercial deployment. GM has said it hopes to begin commercializing the vehicles in 2019.

The investments are subject to regulatory approval. After its investment, the SoftBank  venture unit will own a 19.6% share in GM Cruise.

GM and SoftBank have also invested $159 million in Nauto, a Silicon Valley telematics company with technology to reduce distracted driving in commercial fleets.

Related: GM to Sell Its Autonomous Car in 2019

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