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NTT DATA and DENSO Sign a Basic Agreement on Strategic Partnership for Software

Establishing a global software development system with 3,000 engineers for the era of SDVs


On June 12, 2024, NTT DATA Japan Corporation (“NTT DATA”) and DENSO CORPORATION (“DENSO”) have signed a memorandum of understanding to form a strategic partnership for software development. Through the agreement, the companies will deepen their collaboration on strategy, talent management, and technology as they jointly contribute to the advancement of Japan’s automotive industry and help address social issues. The partnership between DENSO, which has strengths in vehicle (in-car) technologies including in-vehicle software, and NTT DATA, which has strengths in outside-car technologies including cloud computing, aims to quickly and efficiently develop and offer in-vehicle software, which is becoming more prevalent and sophisticated in new vehicles. The two companies will also hire more advanced software engineers and upskill current engineers at both companies to create a globally deployable software-oriented mobility service platform, which will help support a mobility-centered society in the era of software-defined vehicles (“SDVs”).

As the first initiative, the two companies will jointly establish a software development system, as well as training engineers and increase the number of engineers to 3,000 engineers by 2030.

Recently, in response to automated driving, electrification, and artificial intelligence, including the rise of ever-connected cars, there is a need to enhance the ability to develop large-scale, advanced in-vehicle software and drastically increase development efficiency. Meanwhile, the concept of SDVs, in which software dramatically raises the value of vehicles and services, has become widely desirable,  making software development increasingly important and necessitating closer linkage between vehicles and infrastructure. Accordingly, initiatives using cloud technology have become essential. With various social issues emerging in society, such as challenges relating to public transportation, population growth and driver shortages in the logistics industry, mobility services are needed to help solve these issues and an underlying platform needs to be built by connecting vehicles with the cloud via software and ensuring data linkage.

NTT DATA and DENSO have been collaborating with each other for many years. In 2016, DENSO took a stake in NTT DATA MSE, a software development company. In 2022, NTT DATA and DENSO launched an initiative to build an industry-wide ecosystem for electric vehicle batteries. The two companies have strengthened their ties by working on software initiatives together to transform the automotive industry.

Details of the partnership
Against this backdrop, the two companies have reached a basic agreement on a strategic partnership for software with the aim of accelerating conventional activities, developing the automotive industry and solving social issues. The synergies of the two companies will be maximized in terms of strategy, human resources, and technology by leveraging the cloud technology strengths of NTT DATA, which has worked in various industries, and the in-vehicle software strengths of DENSO, which has mainly focused on the automotive industry.
This partnership will tackle the following initiatives.

(1) Expansion of global software resources
Software will be the key to automotive development in the future, as exemplified by automated driving, electrification, and SDVs, necessitating substantial software resources. NTT DATA and DENSO will establish a global development system with 3,000 engineers by 2030 to maximize the synergies of software resources at their group companies in Japan and overseas, in order to develop increasingly large-scale and sophisticated in-vehicle software.

(2) Cultivating advanced software engineers
NTT DATA and DENSO will establish a program in the software domain to train human resources who can generate business value. The two companies aim to update the definition of software engineers whom the two companies have cultivated, reinforce and standardize the program, and deploy and utilize the program throughout the automotive industry.

(3) Enhance the platform to support software development
It is crucial to increase the speed and efficiency of developing in-vehicle software, which is becoming larger in scale and more sophisticated, for the era of SDVs. It is indispensable to build a common platform to support the software development, which underpins the development of various other functions, including AI-based evaluation tools. NTT DATA and DENSO aim to jointly develop and deploy an optimal platform to support the development based on combinations of solutions by harnessing the advanced IT that they have refined.

(4) Joint initiative to tackle social issues
NTT Data has been providing services that contribute to the growth of businesses and the resolution of social issues, using IT, extending beyond the boundaries of various companies and industries to social infrastructure. DENSO aims to reduce its environmental burden and realize a society with zero traffic accidents. DENSO has been expanding the technology it has cultivated in the automotive field to various other areas, continuing to provide new value to society.
To realize a mobility-centered society in the future, NTT DATA and DENSO will jointly study the possibility of developing solutions to solve social issues by leveraging their strengths. The two companies aim to accelerate the initiative, including field tests on social implementation, and deploy the initiative globally in the future.

Future outlook
Through this partnership, NTT DATA and DENSO will quickly create and jointly deploy a platform for new mobility services. The two companies will deepen the alliance while coordinating their respective strengths in the in-car and outside-car domains. They will help make vehicles more attractive through software for the era of SDVs.

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