Akio Toyoda, Toyota chairman, discusses the formation of the automakers new holding company, Woven Planet.

With the threat of “Big Tech” looming over its business, automakers of all sizes are scrambling to shore up their capability to compete in new areas that are likely to define the future of the auto industry.

Toyota Research Institute – Advanced Development Inc., also known as TRI-AD, is the part of the Japanese automaker tasked with developing autonomous vehicles. It has announced that effective January 2021, it will expand and improve its operations into a holding company and two operating companies.

The new holding company will be Woven Planet Holdings Inc. The first of two operating companies under holding company, the former TRI-AD, will now be called Woven CORE Inc., and it will develop, implement and scale automated driving technologies.

(Toyota increases sedan commitment with expanded array of Corolla, Camry and Avalon models.)

TRI-AD CEO James Duffner lays out the plans for the new Woven Planet entity. TRI-AD getting renamed Woven CORE.

The second company, Woven Alpha Inc., will search out new business opportunities and incubate innovative projects that go beyond today’s Toyota Motor Corp., such as Woven City and Automated Mapping Platform. Woven City is the automaker’s “prototype” city announced in January.

All three companies will be wholly owned subsidiaries of Toyota Motor Co. and will be based in Tokyo.

Toyota originally created TRI-AD in March 2018 in Tokyo, Japan, to provide fully integrated, production- quality software for automated driving. TRI-AD’s vision is “Mobility to Love, Safety to Live,” and its mission is to create world-class technology and build safe mobility products for the world.

(Toyota giving “eligible” employees option to work from home permanently.)

In a statement, Toyota said, “Over the past two years TRI-AD has made great progress in fulfilling its vision and mission, including the development of the latest advanced driving assist technology called, “Teammate based on the “Mobility Teammate Concept.”

Toyoda said new company used planet in the named “with the hope and expectation that the company will provide a platform that will contribute to the combined future of all the citizens of Earth.”

TRI-AD is now beginning on the next phase of its evolution to deliver mobility to everyone, and in order to achieve this it is necessary to expand and improve the company’s operations, Toyota said.

In order to effectively and efficiently forge ahead with TRI-AD’s advanced development capabilities and to continue creating new value through automated driving, safety technologies, mobility, and Woven City, the Woven Planet Holdings group will focus on a more agile “software-first” development process and software defined architecture.

(Toyota planning all-new Japanese city as a “living laboratory.”)

Toyota also said Woven Planet Holdings will have the strategic decision-making function for the entire group, expand collaboration with partners, create new business opportunities, and provide corporate shared services to TMC operating companies.

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