Sources: Honda, Nissan working on standardized automotive software

NHK has learned that two of Japan's leading automakers are in talks to develop common software platforms. Honda Motor and Nissan Motor are hoping the tie-up will cut costs and boost competitiveness in the global market.

The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding in March on a feasibility study toward a partnership in areas including electric vehicles.

Sources say the rivals are looking at automotive operating systems that can offer consolidated control of devices that are currently managed individually.

Honda and Nissan also plan to standardize control parts, including accelerators and brakes, as well as basic designs for driver assistance systems.

Software is shaping up to be a key area in the global race for next-generation vehicles. Tesla launched EVs with its own operating systems in the US in 2012.

China's BYD has also developed an OS that can update functions, including driver assistance.

And Toyota Motor aims to put its own OS in vehicles for global sales next year.