MONET Technologies was established last February as a joint venture between SoftBank and Toyota to address three business domains: (1) on-demand mobility services; (2) data-analysis services; (3) autonomous vehicle mobility services (which they’re calling “Autono-MaaS,” with the “MaaS” being “Mobility as a Service”). These undertakings align well with the two companies, as SoftBank is a telecom and tech company (and an investor in a multitude of advanced tech companies) and Toyota, of course, builds mobility devices (a.k.a,, vehicles).
If there is one thing that is certain about creating autonomous, connected, shared services and vehicles it is that the undertaking is staggeringly expensive.
MONET was initially capitalized at 2-billion yen, with the objective to increase that capitalization to 10-billion yen.
Again, this stuff isn’t cheap.
Another aspect of mobility services—even that which is non-automated—is that a tremendous amount of data is required to optimize the system. And when you have automated systems, again, massive amounts are essential.
So other Japan-based OEMs have joined MONET. First Hino and Honda. And now several more.
Explains Junichi Miyakawa, president and CEO of MONET, “our new partnerships with Isuzu, Suzuki, Subaru, Daihatsu and Mazda will enable us to acquire data on their vehicles and mobility services for coordination with the MONET platform. To build a high-level MaaS platform for an autonomous driving society, it is essential to integrate a wide number of datasets, and these partnerships will further accelerate our progress in building the MaaS business that MONET is aiming for. MONET will utilize the data provided by each company and leverage their automotive industry insights and networks. Together with our automotive manufacturer partners we will work to realize and spread innovative mobility services that can resolve Japan’s social mobility issues and create new value.”
As it stands, SoftBank owns 35.2%, Toyota 34.8%, Honda and Hino 10% each, and Isuzu, Suzuki, Subaru, Daihatsu, and Mazda 2% each.
Collaboration is key in this developing space, and those firms evidently understand that.