Toyota to open $1B artificial intelligence R&D company
Toyota Motor Corp. announced Monday it will establish a new company, Toyota Research Institute Inc., as an R&D enterprise with an initial focus on artificial intelligence and robotics, in Silicon Valley.
A second facility will be located near the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The new company will begin operations in January 2016. It is making an initial investment of $1 billion over the next five years, to establish and staff the two initial locations and conduct operations.
The investment is in addition to the $50 million investment over the next five years with MIT and Stanford to establish joint fundamental artificial intelligence research centers at each university, Toyota Motor Corp. said.
The new company will help bridge the gap between fundamental research and product development. Its primary mission is to accelerate R&D in a range of fields to help resolve society’s future challenges by using artificial intelligence and big data. Thereby, contributing to a sustainable future where everyone can experience a safer, freer, and unconstrained life.
“Our initial goals are to: 1) improve safety by continuously decreasing the likelihood that a car will be involved in an accident; 2) make driving accessible to everyone, regardless of ability; and 3) apply Toyota technology used for outdoor mobility to indoor environments, particularly for the support of seniors,” said Gill Pratt, Toyota’s executive technical advisor and CEO of the new enterprise.
“We also plan to apply our work more broadly, for example to improve production efficiency and accelerate scientific discovery in materials,” Pratt said.