As autonomous vehicle development commands major attention and investment, virtually every automaker has chosen to partner with one or more rivals in a bid to share costs and hedge against the uncertain technology.
Last week alone, Volkswagen Group reportedly was considering a $1.7 billion investment in Ford Motor Co.'s AV subsidiary, Argo AI, as the two companies broaden a global alliance, while BMW and Daimler agreed to jointly develop self-driving technology by the middle of next decade.
That follows news last year that Honda would invest nearly $3 billion in Cruise, the AV arm of General Motors. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is partnering with Waymo, and companies such as Volvo and Toyota have forged pacts with various startups, suppliers and mobility companies.
There are incentives for automakers to announce such tie-ups sooner rather than later, when valuations and buy-in costs are likely to be lower. A looming recession — and pre-emptive restructurings by Ford and GM — could further spur deals.