ZF Friedrichshafen to invest €12bn in electric and autonomous vehicles

German auto supplier ZF Friedrichshafen is set to invest €12bn in the development of technology for electric and autonomous vehicles.

The company plans to make the investment over the next five years.

Aimed at dealing with increasing delivery volumes while reducing traffic in city centres, the company will develop self-driving delivery trucks that will make package deliveries along the ‘last mile’ more efficient.

New Zealand unveils $11.17bn plan to improve transport infrastructure

The Government of New Zealand unveiled its plans to invest approximately NZD16.9bn ($11.17bn) in land-based transport systems over the next three years.

The investment marks an increase of 18% from the previous 2015-18 programme and a 44% increase from 2012-15.

A detailed investment plan, which has been narrated in the 2018-21 National Land Transport Programme (NLTP), has been published by the New Zealand Transport Agency.

Samsung C&T wins $785m contract for WestConnex motorway project

South Korea-based construction and engineering firm Samsung C&T secured an KRW882.6bn ($785.9m) contract to build a 12.9km section of WestConnex motorway in western Sydney, Australia.

The contract was awarded by Sydney Motorway Corporation established by the New South Wales Government in Australia.

With the contract win, the Samsung Group’s construction arm Samsung C&T will be able to participate in all three stages of WestConnex construction project.

Highways England signs 11 contractors for £3.3bn road resurface works

Highways England signed up 11 firms under a four-year framework arrangement for all resurfacing works up to the value of £3.3bn.

The arrangement will enable Highways England to award contracts to rehabilitate poor road surfaces across England’s motorways and major A roads over the next four years without going through the lengthy bidding processes.

Honda to acquire 5.7% stake in GM Cruise for $750m

Japanese automaker Honda signed an agreement to acquire a 5.7% stake valued at $750m in Cruise, an autonomous vehicles unit of General Motors (GM).

Additionally, Honda will contribute $2bn to the autonomous vehicle project over the next 12 years, which aims to transform mobility through the large-scale deployment of autonomous vehicle technology.

The Japanese carmaker will work with the two companies to fund and develop a purpose-built autonomous vehicle for GM’s unit.

SoftBank Vision Fund to invest $2.25bn in GM’s self-driving venture

General Motors (GM) secured a $2.25bn investment from SoftBank Vision Fund for GM Cruise Holdings, the manufacturer’s autonomous vehicle unit.

The investment is aimed at supporting GM’s plans to commercialise large-scale autonomous technology, beginning next year.

GM will also make an additional investment of $1.1bn in GM Cruise Holdings once the transaction is closed.

EBRD to invest €700m for road improvements in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is set to invest more than €700m for the period 2018-20 to improve road infrastructure in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The financial institution has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Ministers of Transport and Communications of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) and Republika Srpska (RS) for expanding the country’s road infrastructure and building modern motorways.

Philippines unveils $5.16bn plan to build eight bridges

The Philippine Government has planned to build eight major bridges with an estimated cost of PHP269.19bn ($5.16bn) to connect the islands of the Visayas with each other, as well as link them to Luzon.

The plan, announced by the Philippines Department of Finance (DOF), forms a part of the government’s infrastructure building programme ‘Build, Build, Build’ and create jobs outside Metro Manila.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III stated that building appropriate road networks in Visayas will also be undertaken, along with the construction of these bridges to transform the economies of the islands.

Toyota to form $2.84bn company to advance self-driving research

Japanese automotive manufacturer Toyota (TMC) is set to form a new JPY300bn ($2.84bn) company Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development (TRI-AD) to expedite the development of automated driving solutions.

In this regard, the company has concluded a memorandum of understanding with Aisin Seiki and Denso Corporation (Denso) to jointly develop fully integrated, production-quality software for automated driving.

The new company is expected to employ 1,000 people through external recruitment and transfer of staff from associated companies and units.

More than 54,000 US bridges are structurally deficient, finds new study

A new report released by the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) revealed that 54,259 bridges across the US are rated ‘structurally deficient’.

The analysis was based on the US Department of Transportation’s 2017 National Bridge Inventory database.

The data shows that cars, trucks and school buses cross these bridges nearly 175 million times per day.