Toyota’s autonomous driving unit acquires Carmera


Toyotathe autonomous driving unit of, Woven planet, will now benefit from more mapping software thanks to its acquisition of the American mapping startup Carmera, the Financial Time (FT) reported.

Woven Planet is currently looking to quadruple its global engineering workforce over the next few years, according to FT.

This follows Woven Planet’s acquisition of LyftThe $ 550 million autonomous driving unit in April, which gave it a boost enough to start planning for much more substantial movement in space, FT reported.

Woven Planet did not say how much it paid for Carmera, but said the acquisition would help increase the company’s workforce alongside the Lyft deal from 860 to more than 1,200, according to FT.

Toyota hopes to build on an existing partnership with Carmera and use the latter’s machine learning (ML) and geospatial technologies to add to Toyota’s own mapping capabilities with satellite and aerial imagery, FT reported. Carmera’s investment is a big change for Woven Planet, which will look to do more than just sell cars. It will now also work on the provision of mobility services.

Woven Planet and Carmera will experiment with affordable components on regular cars, rather than completely new vehicles with everything built-in, according to FT. In this way, normal cars can be configured to recognize changes in lane markings and other road features in order to collect map data.

Other recent investments for Toyota include that of Moment, a Chinese company that worked on HD vision-based or camera-based mapping. This technology uses a camera, GPS, and IMU to generate automatic maps, containing details such as traffic signs, poles, road edges, lights, and more.

Toyota has also invested in Pony.ai, another Chinese company, in 2020. It is working with this company on driving technology based on artificial intelligence (AI). Toyota did not have the capacity to sell automatic cars in China without a local partner.

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