October 16, 2021

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Toyota’s Self-Driving Unit Woven Planet Acquires Seattle-based Mapping Startup CARMERA, Inc. to offer Real-Time Maps to OEMs and Autonomous Vehicle Makers

Toyota’s Self-Driving Unit Woven Planet Acquires Seattle-based Mapping Startup CARMERA, Inc. to offer Real-Time Maps to OEMs and Autonomous Vehicle Makers

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Woven Planet Holdings, Toyota’s fully-owned digital mapping subsidiary, on Thursday announced it had acquired Seattle-based CARMERA, Inc. that provides real-time 3D maps and navigation-critical data for autonomous vehicle and mobility-as-a-service. This acquisition marks the Japanese automaker’s latest investment in autonomous technology as it looks to rev up its driverless technology.

Under the acquisition terms, CARMERA will be joining Woven Planet Group as a wholly-owned subsidiary and this will expand the automakers footprint beyond Tokyo to New York and Seattle. This acquisition is the second crucial deal for Woven Planet Group in North America after it acquired Level 5, self-driving division of Lyft, in April 2021 for USD 550 million. CARMERA will be a part of Automated Mapping Platform (AMP) team of Woven Planet, which is based in Tokyo. CARMERA, launched in 2015, is a spatial AI company that offers a high-definition map developed for autonomous vehicle clients such as automakers, robotaxis, and suppliers. The company leverages data collaborated from its fleet-monitoring service product to update AV maps routinely. The fleet includes telematics and video monitoring services to effectively manage risk and improve safety of autonomous vehicles and vehicle drivers. These fleets furnished with cameras and driven by humans send new information to the autonomous map as they travel through the cities. Over time, CARMERA has brought updates to its maps including real-time events and change-management engine. CARMERA has also been working with Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development, now Woven Planet, for three years.

The acquisition of CARMERA will accelerate AMP’s shift from R&D stage to commercialization phase by strengthening the platform’s engineering team with skilled experts in development of HD maps. Toyota plans to leverage CARMERA’s machine learning and geospatial technologies and combine with its own satellite and aerial imagery mapping capability. Woven Planet has not disclosed the terms or financial details of the acquisition.