Toyota Motor will invest 1 billion dollars in a research institute near Stanford and MIT to focus on artificial intelligence and robotics.
For safer roads with less traffic accidents, Toyota has committed to invest 1 billion dollars to form a research centre focused on artificial intelligence and robotics. According to a company statement, the Institute will start running in January, with 200 employees, in locations near Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The CEO of the Toyota Research Institute will be Gill Pratt, a former top robotics engineer for the US military. The 1 billion dollar investment will be spread over a five-year plan, and this is adding to the 50 million dollars Toyota announced earlier for artificial intelligence research at Stanford and MIT.
The main focus of the researchers will be the improvement of safety technologies in cars, and so reducing as much as possible traffic fatalities. A more advanced artificial intelligence system would also mean an accelerated development of autonomous vehicles, a target that all major automotive companies are following intensively. Tesla’s founder, Elon Musk, predicted recently that in a time frame of 15-20 years, the autonomous cars will rule the roads, leading to a safer traffic. “Our target is really to make the fatalities from car accidents zero”, said President Akio Toyoda. “To this end, the cars would have to really identify the movement of the pedestrians and gather information about the neighbouring cars”.