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Toyota and Suzuki Team Up for Autonomous Driving Tech

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Toyota and Suzuki have announced the two companies agreed to a capital alliance focusing on autonomous driving technology. Toyota will purchase a 4.94 percent stake in Suzuki for roughly $908 million at current exchange rates, while Suzuki will spend $455 million to acquire a much smaller, 0.2 percent share of Toyota.

The firms had said in 2016 that they were exploring a partnership to meet the technological challenges facing an industry transformed by the rapid rise of electric vehicles, autonomous driving, and ride-hailing.

Many automakers, and in particular small ones like Suzuki, have struggled to keep pace with the massive costs of investing in research and development for future mobility tech; even giants like Toyota have recognized the difficulties and been actively striking partnerships left and right to manage costs and boost development.

Related: All you should know about Toyota batteries

This latest capital alliance is certainly not the first time Toyota and Suzuki work together. In 2017, the two companies signed a memorandum of understanding; in 2018, Toyota agreed to help Suzuki develop an ultra-high-efficiency powertrain; earlier this year, Toyota also agreed to share its hybrid technology with Suzuki. In fact, you can currently buy Suzuki-powered Toyota cars in Europe, and Suzuki-badged Toyota cars in India.

Suzuki is not the only manufacturer with which Toyota has close ties. The automaker is also working closely with Mazda, Subaru, Daihatsu, Hino Motors, and Yamaha, many of which have already joined Toyota’s self-driving vehicle venture Monet. A few other major companies you might recognize have also joined the Toyota-led Hydrogen Council.

Related: Toyota is testing a solar-powered Prius