Yamaha Motor Boosts Stake in Autonomous Driving Technology Developer

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. has made an additional investment in TIER IV Inc. with the aim of establishing autonomous driving technology. Moreover, it plans to promote its commercialization, including automated transport solutions business for factory grounds.

This brings Yamaha Motor’s investment in the company to three following those made in August 2017 and July 2019.

Yamaha boosts its stake in Tier IV in a new series of funding.

Open-Source Autonomous Driving OS

TIER IV is leading the development of Autoware, the first open-source autonomous driving operating system (OS). The company is committed to democratizing autonomous driving so that anyone can contribute to the advancement of the technology. Moreover, TIER IV is focusing on the development of the core software for autonomous driving systems. This aims to expedite broad adoption of autonomous driving throughout society via an open-source platform.

Specifically, this additional investment is for Series B round financing through third-party allotment by TIER IV. Aside from Yamaha Motor, other investors include Sompo Holdings, Inc. and Bridgestone Corporation. TIER IV’s Series B total funding amounted to 12.1 billion yen (US$87.8 million).

In addition, TIER IV was selected as the R&D project Level 4 autonomous driving software of the Green Innovation Fund administrated by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).

Venture into Automated Transport Solutions

Yamaha Motor designated several “New Businesses” and “Growth Businesses” as “Strategic Business Fields” in its new Medium-Term Management Plan (2022–2024) announced in February of this year. As part of managing its business portfolio, it will actively allocate management resources to these businesses to develop them into future core businesses.

As one of its New Businesses, the company established eve autonomy, Inc. with TIER IV as a joint venture company in February 2020. The joint venture aims to commercialize and make an automated transport solutions business a reality. Through this and other initiatives, Yamaha Motor will provide various solutions by further establishing the technology for low-speed automated driving under specific conditions.