Honda says it plans to cooperate with Toyota and Nissan to develop software that controls car electronics parts.
Honda may apply by the end of the month for membership in the Japan Automotive Software Platform and Architecture consortium, which was established in September, a Honda spokeswoman said in Tokyo. Toyota and Nissan are already members of the group.

Toyota and Nissan agreed last month to jointly develop common standards for automotive software to reduce development costs.

According to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japanese companies spend more than 100 billion yen ($903 million) a year on the development of automobile-related software, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported. Some estimates put the figure at 1 trillion yen by 2014, the newspaper said.

A growing number of cars are equipped with electronic control systems that regulate a wide range of car functions by automatically responding to changing conditions, the Nikkei said. Lacking common standards, carmakers have to finance the costly development of such software on their own, it added.

Honda’s participation will likely leverage support, accelerate the development of common standards, and pitch these standards to its European counterpart, Automotive Open System Architecture, to make them global, the Nikkei said.