MIT Names Tesla and Toyota Among World’s Smartest Companies
We all know Toyota is one of the best-selling car brands in the world—but how smart is Toyota really? What does it even mean for an automaker to be smart? Those are just some of the questions tackled in the most recent edition of the MIT Technology Review, which just released its latest list of the world’s 50 smartest companies of 2016.
Of the companies featured, only two automakers made the cut: Tesla, ranked fourth, and Toyota, ranked 17th. It might seem odd to see them in the company of tech giants like Alphabet, Nvidia, and Microsoft, but editors said they picked the companies that “best combined innovative technology with an effective business model” and with that in mind, it’s clear that Tesla and Toyota certainly fit the bill.
Tesla stood out for advancing its Autopilot technology and introducing the more affordable Model 3 electric car, though the American company fell from the top of the rankings compared to last year; meanwhile, after leaving the list in 2013, Toyota returned thanks to “dramatically rethinking its future” by making major investments in studying future mobility, artificial intelligence, and robotics.
In late 2015, as part of a five-year $1 billion program, Toyota established the Toyota Research Institute, which will develop the automaker’s expertise in programming software, artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicle technology, and robotics, with the goal of improving future mobility by making it safer and more convenient for everyone.
The Japanese automaker also gained a few points for launching the Mirai, the world’s first mass-market hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, which has a range of over 300 miles and emits only water vapor, as well as for its work on building a network of affordable hydrogen fuel stations.
It seems that focusing on non-traditional automotive technology and leaving the international combustion engine behind is truly starting to be the way to go for automakers.
Source: MIT Technology Review