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Toyota Appoints Board Members to New R&D Company

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Toyota announces $50 million in funding partnership with MIT and Stanford University for artificial intelligence research collaboration.

Dr. Gill Pratt will head up the new Toyota Research Institute

Back in November, automaker Toyota announced its intention to create a new artificial intelligence research company, Toyota Research Institute (TRI). Initially, Toyota appointed Dr. Gill Pratt as the CEO of the new company. Now, the automaker has announced the hiring of a team of scientists and engineers to help reach its goal of researching robotics and other artificial intelligence.

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Toyota named a number of new advisory board members, including former US Ambassador to Japan, John Roos, as chairman; Rodney Brooks, founder of robot maker iRobot Corps, as deputy chairman; and Eric Krotkov, former US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program manager, as CEO.

TRI begins operations this month in two locations: Palo Alto, California; and Cambridge, Massachusetts. Overall, the automaker will invest $1 billion into this new venture over the next five years. Already, TRI has identified and funded close to 30 research projects and project teams, with plans to add to those in the coming months. In all, TRI will hire around 200 staff.

TRI will look into, among other things, developing self-driving car technology to help Toyota keep up with the myriad other automakers that are experimenting with this up-and-coming technology.

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News Source: Reuters