Developing new, more efficient car transmissions can cost hundreds of millions of dollars. So, while advancing this technology would improve a company’s competitive advantage, the work may be financially out of reach for one company to do alone. That’s why General Motors and Ford are teaming up to build fuel-saving 9- and 10-speed automatic transmissions.

According to GM,”The collaboration enables both automakers to design, develop, engineer, test, validate and deliver these new transmissions for their vehicles faster and at lower cost than if each company worked independently.” The more efficient transmissions will also help both companies meet fuel economy and carbon dioxide emissions standards in the U.S. and abroad. In addition, the transmission hardware will be identical in the two companies’ vehicles, which could lead to more resource savings in manufacturing and storing replacement parts.

Although Ford and GM are fierce competitors, they’re pooling resources to improve resource performance in automobiles. When should competitors find common ground to work toward technology that benefits the companies and potentially an entire industry?