Kuffner, CEO of Toyota’s Autonomous Driving Tech Unit to step down

James Kuffner, the CEO of Woven by Toyota, Toyota Motor’s autonomous driving technology subsidiary, has announced his resignation from the position, effective October 1st. This decision was officially disclosed by the subsidiary in a statement released on Thursday. Kuffner’s journey within Toyota began in 2016 when he joined the Toyota Research Institute. Over time, he took on key roles within the company, including Chief Digital Officer and board member. However, he stepped down from his board position in June of this year.

After leaving the CEO’s role at Woven by Toyota, Kuffner is set to assume the position of Senior Fellow at Toyota Motor, the world’s largest automaker in terms of sales, starting in October, according to the official statement. Hajime Kumabe has been designated to succeed Kuffner as the CEO of Woven by Toyota. His appointment is pending approval by the unit’s board, as stated in the release. Currently, Kumabe holds a prominent position as the top executive at J-QuAD Dynamics, a company specialising in automated driving, established in April 2019 through collaboration between Denso, Aisin, and two other suppliers to Toyota.

In 2021, Toyota established Woven Planet as a significant step toward its goal of investing in and advancing mobility solutions with integrated artificial intelligence. Woven Planet is actively engaged in developing the automotive software platform known as Arene and constructing a testing site called Woven City, located in Shizuoka prefecture, west of Tokyo. This facility is intended for testing and validating mobility-related systems and services.


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