(CTN News) – Earlier this week, a spokesperson for the Japanese telecommunications firm Toyota Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) announced that the company would test driverless car technology in partnership with Toyota Motor, as well as invest in a startup in the U.S. that is developing a self-driving car.
A spokesperson for NTT stated that the company plans to begin testing autonomous buses and taxis as early as 2025, and is considering investing around 10 billion yen ($66.91 million) in a U.S. startup called May Mobility.
The spokesperson also noted that self-driving technology has gained momentum in Japan.
On Monday, the Nikkei newspaper first reported that NTT is going to invest in May Mobility, adding that both NTT and Toyota are going to cooperate in the development of vehicles.
A spokesperson for NTT and a spokesperson for Toyota have both confirmed that they have no plans to form a joint development program.
A spokesperson for Toyota declined to comment further on the matter.
There has been a history of May Mobility attracting investments from Japanese companies in the past.
The Japanese insurer Tokio Marine said last year that it had joined a $111 million funding round in the Michigan-based company, while a Toyota-linked venture capital unit also co-led a seed investment in the company last year.
There is a growing interest from NTT in autonomous driving technology following the announcement in October that Honda Motors planned to set up a joint venture with General Motors and its robo-taxi firm Cruise and that they would begin a driverless ride service in Japan in early 2026.
It was late that month that Cruise suspended all operations of driverless vehicles in the United States as a result of an accident that led California regulators to order the company to remove its driverless cars from the state’s roads.
There are 149.4500 yen in $1, which is equivalent to $1.