Japan-Backed Mapping Startup to Buy Detroit-Based Ushr

Dynamic Map Platform Co. Ltd., a 30-month-old map platform developer backed by Japanese carmakers, has agreed to buy Detroit-based rival startup Ushr Inc.

Neither company has offered details about the purchase. But The Nikkei says Ushr is valued at about 20 billion yen ($181 million). High-definition maps are considered a critical enabler for self-driving cars.

DMP is funded in part by Daihatsu, Hino, Honda, Isuzu, Mazda, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan, Suzuki and Toyota. The company’s aim is to develop a single platform to help accelerate the development of advanced mapping products.

Ushr has created detailed 3D maps (above) that are designed to help autonomous vehicle navigate their surroundings. The company supplies General Motors Co. with high-def maps of Canada and the U.S. that support the carmaker’s Super Cruise hands-free driving system.