Toyota has announced that it will be establishing a new company, Toyota Research Institute Inc.
Toyota Research Inc. will be set up 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, while a second facility will be housed close to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Toyota announced that the company will begin operations in January 2016.
The company believes that artificial intelligence has the potential to not only support future industrial technologies, but create an entirely new industry. It will initially invest $1 billion over the next five years, establishing and staffing the two initial locations and conducting operations. Toyota will also invest an additional $50 million over the next five years with MIT and Stanford to establish joint fundamental artificial intelligence research centers at each university.
The new company will be directed by Dr. Gill Pratt (seen above) who will also serve as the new company’s executive technical advisor and chief executive officer.
“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,” said Dr. Pratt. “We also plan to apply our work more broadly, for example to improve production efficiency and accelerate scientific discovery in materials.”