Toyota pledges $50 million autonomous car investment

Toyota pledges $50 million autonomous car investment

Toyota announced Friday a $50 million partnership with Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to develop autonomous car tech.

The automaker pledged the money over a five-year period and, according to the AP, Toyota has hired robotics expert Gill Pratt to direct research in autonomy.

The programs will operate out of joint research facilities in Palo Alto, CA and Cambridge, MA.

Competition in the self-driving vehicle space has heated up significantly over the past few years, with industry outsiders such as Apple (and to a certain extent, Tesla), joining the rapidly lengthening roster of OEMs and suppliers focusing on autonomous tech.

Apple in particular has drawn a great deal of attention recently due to several high-profile recruiting coups and reported interest in a vehicle testing facility in California.

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