The Japanese have always been considered by the rest of the world to be a land at the absolute brink of cutting edge technology, with the culture that once embraced the mighty Samurai now bringing us the XXI century technology just ahead of anyone else.
So, it’s only natural that its largest company, Toyota, would have interests in investing into things like joint research projects with Stanford and MIT to seek new developments into artificial intelligence and robots – their goal is to lift mobility of both people and vehicles. Toyota’s US officials announced recently the (interim) world’s second largest carmaker would pledge $50 million over the next five years in research centers at the two prestigious U.S. universities. The joint researches would be involved into working with intelligent vehicles and other mobility technologies to address today’s woes – the developed societies are aging and younger people seek new methods of moving around in cities clogged by increased traffic.
“We’re here today to mark the beginning of an unprecedented commitment,”commented Kiyotaka Ise, chief officer of Toyota’s R&D Group. “We will initially focus on the acceleration of intelligent vehicle technology, with the immediate goal of helping eliminate traffic casualties and the ultimate goal of helping improve quality of life through enhanced mobility and robotics.”
The company also said Gill Pratt, the former program manager at DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) and head of the Robotics Challenge, has now been hired by the automaker to lead the research as executive technical director.