Woven Planet Holdings, a subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation, is buying autonomous vehicle (AV) mapping company Carmera.
It is the latest AV-related acquisition in North America for Tokyo-based Woven Planet, which earlier this year bought Lyft’s self-driving division, Level 5.
Carmera will be a wholly-owned subsidiary, working within Woven Alpha, which is home to such ventures as the smart city Woven City and Woven Planet’s open software platform Arene.
Its Automated Mapping Platform (AMP) is a crowdsourced software platform that supports the creation, development and distribution of high definition (HD) maps - a particular area of expertise for the US firm.
AMP is being developed to become "the most globally comprehensive road and lane network HD map platform, enabling high-precision localisation support to automated vehicles", Woven Planet says in a statement.
Woven Planet and Carmera have worked together on mapping projects over the last few years - but buying Carmera now gives Woven access to sophisticated map update, change management and Internet of Things sensing technology.
Carmera updates HD maps from crowdsourced, camera-based inputs, which the company says is 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, signs and more in near real-time, and support its future multi-regional commercial launch," Woven insists.
Ro Gupta, CEO and co-founder of Carmera, said: "Our teams have a common view of the unmet need for ubiquity in advanced
mobility data going forward, including maps."
"Woven Planet, thanks to its software-first automotive DNA, shares our commitment to the end-user—to create a technology stack that can be used safely and without friction by all stakeholders from data originators through to data consumers."
Mandali Khalesi, Woven Planet's vice president of automated driving strategy and mapping, says the deal means "we’ll be able to hit the accelerator" and "jump-start operations in the US".