Toyota, NTT in capital tie-up for 'smart city'

Toyota Motor and telecom giant NTT have formed a major capital tie-up to advance developments toward a so-called "smart city."

The two companies will take about 200 billion yen of each other's shares on April 9. That's about 1.8 billion dollars.

Toyota will acquire about two percent of NTT's shares, and NTT will take nearly one percent of Toyota's shares.

Toyota Motor President Akio Toyoda said "the idea of creating so-called connected city is becoming more and more essential." He added: "It would connect society, people's lives and automobiles."

NTT President and CEO Jun Sawada said: "We hope to create new social infrastructure by teaming up with Toyota."

The two companies will team up on a wide range of mobile services. The tie-up would combine Toyota's next-generation technologies, such as self-driving, with NTT's expertise in communications infrastructure.

Automakers have been in an intense global race for advanced technologies, known as "CASE," which refers to "connected, autonomous, shared, and electric."