Toyota’s commitment to heavily invest in artificial intelligence will bring in the next five years better driver assistance systems, the company’s head of robotic research unit said.
The world’s biggest automaker announced in November 2015 that it would invest 1 billion dollars to form a research centre focused on artificial intelligence and robotics that will ultimately lead to the improvement of safety technologies in cars. Toyota Research Institute, headed by Gill Pratt – a former top robotics engineer for the US military-, will consequently develop self-driving tech as well, advanced systems that are expected to start showing their first results within five years. “Some of the things that are in car safety, which is a near-term priority, I’m very confident that we will have some advances come out during the next five years,” Pratt recently said, quoted by Reuters.
All major automakers have already engaged in the autonomous race, by exploring radar-based systems capable of finding their own way through traffic. But a truly intelligent car “would figure out a plan for evasive action” in case of challenging scenarios and the AI could play a crucial role in this direction. “Our job is to explore what is possible, what might work. We don’t actually know what’s going to work,” he said. But Toyota’s Research Institute is also looking into developing robots for home use and it has already presented a next generation robotic wheelchair for the disabled and elderly community.