Published on March 15th, 2024 | by Subhash Nair


Mitsubishi Invests In Tier IV For Autonomous Driving Tech

Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) finds a autonomous driving technology partner to invest in.

The future of the automobile is right on the horizon. Even the most conservative carmakers can no longer ignore the importance of game-changing technologies such as self-driving. Those who do will end up having to pay extra in the long term if they don’t invest and own a part of the technology early on. With that in mind, Mitsubishi Corporation has announced its own strategic investment in a company called TIER IV.

TIER IV is a pioneer in open-source autonomous driving technology. They are focused on developing safe and efficient autonomous driving systems on open source software. TIER IV also creates hardware and conducts research and development with partners around the world.

MC and TIER IV has some history together. The two have collaborated on previous proof-of-concept tests in the realm of autonomous driving. MC’s own Digital Transformation of Regional Mobility initiative has shown that autonomous driving is an important solution to many of today’s problems. One proof-of-concept test done by MC was at Fukuoka Airport in 2022 with autonomous busses. Across Japan, autonomous busses are helping to alleviate the shortage of drivers with class-2 heavy-vehicle licenses, so the demand for this technology will only rise in coming years.

mitsubishi autonomous bus

What About Mitsubishi Motors Corporation?

Well, things have changed over the years and MC is no longer the main owner of Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC). As of writing, MC has about 20% of MMC, but the largest chunk of ownership goes to Nissan, who own 34% of MMC. MMC and Nissan are now part of the Renault Nissan Mitsubishi Alliance which, even years later, hasn’t even been accronymised to ReNiMiAl.

MMC is likely going to lean on its alliance partners for autonomous drive technology that goes into their vehicles. From the tone of the press release, MC’s partnership with TIER IV does not concern MMC at all. It’s likely MC will be leveraging this new tech to create OEM parts for buses and trucks for use in Japan and perhaps for sale and export later on.

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Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

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