Toyota to Create New Artificial Intelligence Research Company
As technology improves, companies across the world are scrambling to be among the first to develop the new and the next. Automaker Toyota is no exception. While the brand is typically known for its reliable vehicles, a new Toyota-owned company will focus on research and development for artificial intelligence. The company, which will be based in Silicon Valley, will be called Toyota Research Institute Inc. (TRI).
Toyota will invest $1 billion over the next five years to help TRI bridge the gap between fundamental research and product development. Rather than concentrating solely on vehicles, TRI will focus on research and development in a variety of fields with the hopes of helping to resolve the future challenges of society by using artificial intelligence and big data.
The new company will be directed by Toyota’s Executive Technical Advisor, Dr. Gill Pratt. Dr. Pratt will be the CEO of the new venture, and will oversee hiring of leading researchers and engineers to help bring its mission to fruition.
“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,” explained Dr. Pratt. “We also plan to apply our work more broadly, for example to improve production efficiency and accelerate scientific discovery in materials.”
TRI will begin operations in January 2016.