TOKYO — Toyota Motor Corp.'s automated-driving subsidiary Woven Planet is making its second major acquisition, buying an American artificial intelligence company that will help the world's largest automaker generate next-generation mapping for self-driving cars.
Woven Planet declined to disclose how much it will spend to buy Carmera Inc., a company with offices in New York and Seattle that develops high-definition digital maps using vehicular crowdsourcing and remote sensing to capture street-level change. But the deal follows Woven Planet's $550 million purchase in April of Level 5, the self-driving car unit of ride-hailing giant Lyft.
The Carmera acquisition gives Woven Planet a quick boost in automatically updated high-definition mapping, a key technology for all manner of self-driving new mobility. The technology is critical to creating precise maps that quickly and affordably stay updated with changes in the road scape.
In a news release that announced the deal early Thursday Tokyo time, Woven Planet said: "The teams will tap into Carmera's ability to successfully update HD maps from crowd-sourced, camera-based inputs — a significantly cheaper and faster approach than traditional methods."