Toyota eyes two robotics units from Google image
The Japanese automaker is continuing its efforts to invest in new technologies, especially in artificial intelligence.
Toyota remains one of the leading automakers in the industry when it comes to the efforts put into the development of new technologies and the recent announced investments in this direction are a proof that the world’s biggest carmaker plans to stay on top. The company committed to spend around 1 billion dollars to fund research in artificial intelligence, robotics and materials science, already opening three such labs in the United States in collaboration with renowned Universities.
Toyota appears to keep moving on this path by entering into some exploratory acquisition talks with two robotics divisions from Google parent Alphabet, according to a report from the Japanese financial newspaper Nikkei. Those two targeted units are Alphabet’s Boston Dynamics – which developed the Cheetah quadruped robot capable of running as fast as a human being – and Schaft, a venture that was led by two former Tokyo University professors.
The automaker did not want to confirm the move, only stating that it “regularly discuss possible collaborations with outside partners to help create ever-better cars and to advance our R&D efforts.” Toyota is also not losing any time in developing autonomous technologies, aiming to deploy and test 5,000 cars fitted with connected safety features at its research lab in Ann Arbor, Michigan, while it announced its intention to explore ride-sharing services as well, by signing an agreement with Uber.