NEC has found an onramp into the emerging smart cars market with a new joint venture. The company’s subsidiary, NEC Platforms, has teamed up with automotive components supplier DENSO Corporation to form DENSO Next Co. Ltd.
It’s actually the culmination of collaboration that started at the end of 2016, when the companies began to work together on automated driving and driver assistance technologies. Their joint venture will focus on in-vehicle communications and IT, such as heads-up displays, the companies say.
That could also lead to the integration of biometric technologies into the vehicle, given NEC’s expertise in this area, and its potential smart car applications; in a statement announcing the joint venture, the companies asserted they “will take full advantage of technologies, products, and organizations created through the collaboration to help create a safe and secure automotive society for all people around the world.”
The announcement of DENSO Next Co. arrives amid a growing convergence between the automotive and IT sectors, with Honda and Toyota both having recently announced R&D efforts in connected car technologies. NEC and DENSO say their joint venture will begin operations on December 1st, with about 50 employees and $133,000 in capital. NEC owns a 49 percent share in the company, while DENSO controls 51 percent.