Toyota and Softbank aim for driverless car services by 2020

Toyota and Softbank announced Thursday they are teaming up on a joint venture to launch a business for new autonomous car services.

Toyota announced Thursday that it's partnering with Softbank on new mobility services. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
Toyota announced Thursday that it’s partnering with Softbank on new mobility services. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

The Japanese-based companies chose the name “MONET,” which combines the first letters of the words “mobility network,” for the joint venture because their goal is to provide a new network for safe and comfortable mobility services, a joint company statement said.
The network will utilize Toyota’s self-driving vehicles and connections with ride-hailing services and Softbank’s technology assets.

“The objective of MONET is to help realize a safer and more comfortable mobility society by combining SoftBank’s corporate philosophy, ‘Information Revolution – Happiness for everyone,” with Toyota’s vision of ‘Mobility for All,” the joint statement said.

The companies said MONET will assign self-driving vehicles to “just-in-time” services, which means services will be performed in transit.

The plan is to roll out mobility services in Japan by the latter half of 2020 — like meal delivery, where food is prepared while on the move, hospital shuttles where on board medical examinations are performed and mobile offices.

BySommer Brokaw