Toyota Investing in Artificial Intelligence Research Centers
Toyota likes investing its time and money in futuristic technologies like robots and hydrogen-powered cars. So it should come as no surprise to learn that the Japanese automaker recently announced a $50 million investment to help create two artificial intelligence research centers in the coming years that will work on robot-assisted driving and other wacky sounding things.
The two centers will be located at Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The centers will work on developing intelligent systems which can help transport people and goods without limits such as age or illness. This differs from what other automakers are into these days—autonomous vehicles that need no human interaction in order to drive.
Rather, the technology that’ll be created in these centers will use a “human-centric” approach since waiting for fully autonomous cars to become available could still take many years.
Toyota has also hired Dr. Gill Pratt, a leading robotics scientist. “This bold collaboration will address extremely complex mobility challenges using ground breaking artificial intelligence research,” explained Pratt. “I’m thrilled to be a part of the synergies and talent-sharing of Toyota, MIT, and Stanford. Key program areas will be addressed by the two university campuses and Toyota, with combined research targeted at improving the ability of intelligent vehicle technologies to recognize objects around the vehicle in diverse environments, provide elevated judgment of surrounding conditions, and safely collaborate with vehicle occupants, other vehicles, and pedestrians. The joint research will also look at applications of the same technology to human-interactive robotics and information service.”
Pratt will be joined by Professor Daniela Rus, who will lead the team at MIT; and Professor Fei-Fei Li, who will take the lead on research at Stanford.