Toyota buys software firm Renovo to accelerate self-driving tech development – Reuters

The Toyota logo is seen on the bonnet of a newly launched Camry Hybrid electric vehicle at a hotel in New Delhi, India, January 18, 2019. REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis
TOKYO, Sept 28 (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp's (7203.T) Silicon Valley research arm on Thursday said it had acquired automotive operating system software company Renovo to help accelerate the development of fully-autonomous connected vehicles.
"I am hoping to shave off years and months to our minimum viable product launches," James Kuffner, the head of Toyota's Woven Planet subsidiary said during a press briefing.
A longer term goal is to design software and operating systems that other automakers would also use, the former Google robot engineer added.
Toyota is in a technological race with other established car companies and newer rivals, such as Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) and Amazon (AMZN.O), to build cars that can operate without drivers and share data within connected networks. While some driverless vehicles are already available, their autonomous functions are mostly limited to parking and driving on expressways.
Toyota deployed a fleet of driverless vehicles at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games to showcase its autonomous technology. It had to temporarily suspend operations, however, after one of them struck and injured a Paralympic athlete in an incident that Toyota chief Akio Toyoda said showed the technological challenges of autonomous vehicles. read more
U.S.-based Renovo has designed an operating systems for cars that manages vehicle systems and can sort and filter information for sharing, including data that can help carmakers improve vehicle design.
The latest acquisition by Woven Planet comes after it purchased Carmera in August, a U.S. firm that provides real-time, high-definition maps and data for driverless vehicles.
Toyota established Woven Planet in January to invest in and develop mobility with artificial intelligence.
Japan's leading carmaker is also building Woven City, a "city of the future" at the foot of Mount Fuji in Japan, a community Toyota says will use hydrogen fuel cells for power and be a laboratory for autonomous cars.
Earlier this year, Toyota also bought ride-hailing service Lyft Inc's (LYFT.O) self-driving technology unit for $550 million, and invested in Ridecell which provides automation for fleet businesses.
Other self-driving partnerships include a joint venture with SoftBank Corp (9434.T) and stakes in China's Didi Global Inc (DIDI.N) and Singapore's Grab.
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Subscribe for our daily curated newsletter to receive the latest exclusive Reuters coverage delivered to your inbox.
The United States and European Union agreed on Wednesday to deepen transatlantic cooperation to strengthen semiconductor supply chains, curb China's non-market trade practices and take a more unified approach to regulating big, global technology firms.
Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world’s largest multimedia news provider, reaching billions of people worldwide every day. Reuters provides business, financial, national and international news to professionals via desktop terminals, the world's media organizations, industry events and directly to consumers.
Build the strongest argument relying on authoritative content, attorney-editor expertise, and industry defining technology.
The most comprehensive solution to manage all your complex and ever-expanding tax and compliance needs.
The industry leader for online information for tax, accounting and finance professionals.
Information, analytics and exclusive news on financial markets – delivered in an intuitive desktop and mobile interface.
Access to real-time, reference, and non-real time data in the cloud to power your enterprise.
Screen for heightened risk individual and entities globally to help uncover hidden risks in business relationships and human networks.
All quotes delayed a minimum of 15 minutes. See here for a complete list of exchanges and delays.
© 2021 Reuters. All rights reserved