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Business deals

Map wars: Japan-US carmakers join to counter Google and China

Acquisition of Detroit-based startup will strengthen position for self-driving future

A high-definition, three-dimensional map created by Ushr. The American company, which is being acquired by Dynamic Map Platform of Japan, offers technology for self-driving vehicles. (Photo courtesy of Ushr)

TOKYO -- A Japanese map platform developer funded by leading automakers will acquire an American peer affiliated with General Motors, seeking a stronger position for challenging Google and Chinese rivals in a vital area for self-driving cars.

Nikkei first reported that Dynamic Map Platform -- which counts Toyota Motor, Honda Motor, Nissan Motor, mapping company Zenrin and the public-private fund INCJ among its investors -- plans to buy Detroit-based Ushr in a deal estimated at nearly 20 billion yen ($181 million). The Tokyo-based Dynamic Map Platform announced the acquisition later on Wednesday.

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