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Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

General Motors on Thursday announced that SoftBank Vision Fund will invest $2.25 billion into its self-driving program, with plans to commercialize such vehicles next year.

Bigger picture: This is a super-charging of Cruise, a self-driving startup that GM bought for nearly $1 billion in 2016. It's also further complicates the self-driving and ride-share web, as GM is a major investor in Lyft while SoftBank is a major investor in Uber.

  • GM will also invest an additional $1.1 billion into the Cruise program.
  • SoftBank's investment is split into two parts: $900 million upfront, and the other $1.35 billion after commercialization. Once complete, SoftBank would hold a 19.6% stake in GM Cruise.
  • SoftBank did explore investing in other auto OEMs during its due diligence process, but believed GM offered superior scale and speed to market.
  • The deal does not have exclusivity for either side, but both have agreed to a 7-year hold period before seeking liquidity.
  • GM declined to give a specific time in 2019 for commercialization, nor specific markets.
  • When asked about ride-hail networks, GM exec Dan Ammann said that SoftBank's various relationships give the automaker "enhanced flexibility." That might send a chill through Lyft.

Go deeper

Biden explains justification for Syria strike in letter to Congress

Photo: Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden told congressional leadership in a letter Saturday that this week's airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to Iranian-backed militia groups was consistent with the U.S. right to self-defense.

Why it matters: Some Democrats, including Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), have criticized the Biden administration for the strike and demanded a briefing.

7 hours ago - Health

FDA authorizes Johnson & Johnson's one-shot COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

Photo: Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday issued an emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson's one-shot coronavirus vaccine.

Why it matters: The authorization of a third coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. will help speed up the vaccine rollout across the country, especially since the J&J shot only requires one dose as opposed to Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech's two-shot vaccines.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios