Toyota to Buy Stake in Artificial Intelligence Firm

Shutterstock photo TOKYO—Toyota Motor Corp. said Thursday it plans to acquire a small stake in Tokyo-based machine-learning venture Preferred Networks Inc., the latest sign that Toyota is accelerating its development of self-driving cars. The world’s largest auto maker by the number of cars sold said it would take a 3% stake in Preferred Networks for ¥ 1 billion ($8.2 million), valuing the company at ¥ 33.3 billion. The deal is expected to close by Dec. 30. “This will strengthen our partnership as our collaboration has begun to show various results,” said Kenichi Murata, a Toyota engineer heading the company’s connected car research. The purchase indicates a significant recent rise in the value of Preferred Networks. In August, Apple supplier Fanuc Corp. paid Â¥ 900 million for a 6% stake, valuing…


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