Cruise, a US self-driving vehicle development company majority-owned by General Motors, told Reuters on Friday that the US National Security Commission has approved a $ 2.25 billion investment by Japanese SoftBank Corp.
SoftBank is facing increased US scrutiny with ties to Chinese firms amid rising Sino-US trade and technological tensions.
CFIUS, the foreign investment committee of the United States government that reviews deals for potential threats to national security, has approved the investment after receiving new assurances that Cruise technologies will be completely off-limits to SoftBank, an informed source said.
The investment deal approval opens up a seat for SoftBank on Cruise's board of directors and strengthens Cruise's financial position, which raised $ 7.25 billion last year.
"Today's news is another important step towards our goal of developing and deploying mass-produced self-driving cars," Dan Ammann, CEO of Cruise, commented to Reuters.
SoftBank announced its intention to invest $ 2.25 billion in May 2018 amid a wave of investments from the Japanese tech conglomerate in artificial intelligence, data analytics, financial services and self-driving cars.
The autonomous car industry may revolutionize transportation, but faces design, safety and regulatory issues, as well as skepticism among potential users.