Toyota Puts another Toe in the AI Pond

Toyota is extending its reach into AI capabilities with another acquisition of a specialist in the field.

The automaker has announced that its technology subsidiary, Woven Planet Holdings, has acquired Carmera, a US spatial AI company specializing in developing scalable, next-generation mapping solutions for automated mobility. Following its acquisition of Level 5, the automated driving division of Lyft, this is the second acquisition for Woven Planet, which is focused on mobility innovations and investments in automated driving, robotics, smart cities and more.

Carmera will join Woven Planet’s Automated Mapping Platform (AMP) team, helping it become a comprehensive road and lane network HD map platform, enabling precision localization support to automated vehicles. Carmera’s expertise in map updates, change management and camera-based crowdsourcing from fleets should help expand upon the Woven Planet’s existing mapping platform. Together with Level 5 and Toyota Research Institute (TRI), the addition of Carmera is part of Woven Planet’s stated strategy dubbed “Mobility to Love, Safety to Live.” The deal closure follows the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States review of the deal.

James Kuffner, CEO, Woven Planet, said: “This acquisition will accelerate our AMP initiative that will advance our mission to develop the safest mobility in the world at scale. Bringing Carmera’s world-class engineers and experts into the fold, as well as additional technology resources and footprints in New York and Seattle, the Woven Planet team, alongside the team of TRI and Level 5, will help us reach our goal of providing the best globally comprehensive road and lane network HD map platform. We will transform the world we live in through mobility technologies that can bring about a happier, safer future for us all.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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