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Toyota sets up new artificial intelligence R&D company

Toyota Motor Corporation announced it will establish a new company, Toyota Research Institute (TRI), as an R&D enterprise with an initial focus on artificial intelligence and robotics.
The headquarters will be located in Silicon Valley near Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, USA. A second facility will be located near the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The new company will begin operations in January 2016.

Toyota believes artificial intelligence has significant potential to support future industrial technologies and the creation of an entirely new industry. To underscore this belief, it is making an initial investment of USD 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 USD 50 million investment over the next five years with MIT and Stanford to establish joint fundamental artificial intelligence research centers at each university.

TRI aims to 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 future challenges by using artificial intelligence and big data.

Directed by Dr. Gill Pratt, Toyota’s Executive Technical Advisor and the Chief Executive Officer of the new enterprise said, “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. We also plan to apply our work more broadly, for example to improve production efficiency and accelerate scientific discovery in materials.”


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