Woven Planet Holdings, a subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation, today announced the acquisition of Carmera, a US-based company which specialises in mapping for automated driving.
This is the second major deal for Woven Planet in North America, following the announcement last April it was buying Level 5, the self-driving division of Lyft.
Once the deal is closed, Carmera workers will report into the automated mapping platform (AMP) organisation of Woven Alpha, a connected crowdsourced (from Toyota drivers) software platform which supports the creation, development and distribution of HD maps.
There are plans to develop AMP to become “the most globally comprehensive road and lane network HD map platform, enabling high-precision localization support to automated vehicles”.
The acquisition will accelerate AMP’s shift from the R&D stage to the next phase of commercialisation by bolstering the platform’s engineering team with top HD map specialists and provide access to sophisticated map update, change management and IoT sensing technology.
The ability to successfully update HD maps from crowdsourced, camera-based inputs is significantly cheaper and faster than traditional methods. This will strengthen AMP’s ability to serve a comprehensive set of road classes and features, reflecting changes in lane markings, traffic signals and signs in near real-time, and support its future multi-regional commercial launch.
Carmera will join Woven Planet as a wholly-owned subsidiary, expanding the company beyond its Tokyo headquarters by adding New York and Seattle offices to its planned offices in Silicon Valley and London.
An earlier partnership between Woven Planet—under its predecessor organisation Toyota Research institute – Advanced Development, and Carmera in Tokyo, Detroit and Ann Arbor, Michigan, laid the groundwork for this deal. The two companies collaborated on projects in 2018, 2019 and 2020, which proved they could successfully develop and update HD maps.