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Toyota and Denso form joint venture to develop self-driving hardware

The companies, already strongly linked, will work together to develop advanced semiconductors for self-driving and connected vehicles.

Toyota Platform 3.0 Autonomous Test Vehicle
Toyota and Denso are partnering up once again, this time to develop semiconductors and other automotive-grade components for self-driving cars.

Toyota has been all about teaming up lately, and the latest instance of that comes in the form of a new joint venture with one of its leading suppliers, Denso. This time out, the JV will be focusing on creating next-generation, automotive-grade semiconductors and other components that will power future self-driving cars, according to a report published Wednesday by Reuters.

The plan is for Denso to own a slim majority of the company, with Toyota keeping the rest. The company is planned to start up in April of 2020, but that date could change. The company wouldn't be huge -- just 500 employees to begin with -- but combined with the other Toyota-Denso joint venture that includes Aisin, it could be a big leg up for the company in the race to autonomy.

This new joint venture wouldn't stop at self-driving cars either, since many of the components necessary to generate the computing power for autonomy could also be leveraged for something only slightly less adventurous -- connected vehicles.

Toyota didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

We'll be interested to see what Toyota does next. Its efforts to develop an autonomous car seem to have intensified significantly over the last year, and its resources are considerably greater than many other major automakers.

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