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Japan insurer Sompo steers into self-driving with Tier IV stake

Group intends to leverage its accident data as era of autonomous cars takes off

Sompo Holdings takes a stake in a developer of software for self-driving cars that it expects to use as a stepping stone into the field of autonomous driving.

TOKYO -- Sompo Holdings will invest 9.8 billion yen ($92 million) for an 18% stake in Japan's largest self-driving systems company, Nagoya-based Tier IV, a deal that the company expects to help it navigate a shrinking domestic auto insurance market and expand into autonomous driving services.

Sompo also intends to use the deal to leverage its proprietary accident data to help catalyze the autonomous driving industry and make it safer.

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