Toyota to invest $50m to create intelligent vehicles with MIT and Stanford
At a press conference, Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announced that it will be investing approximately $50 million over the next 5 years to establish joint research centers at each university.
Kiyotaka Ise, TMC senior managing officer and chief officer, R&D Group, said: "We're here today to mark the beginning of an unprecedented commitment. We will initially focus on the acceleration of intelligent vehicle technology, with the immediate goal of helping eliminate traffic casualties and the ultimate goal of helping improve quality of life through enhanced mobility and robotics.
"This partnership, directed by Dr. Pratt, is a great opportunity to work with two leading research teams from two top universities. I am very excited about what this new venture means for Toyota, and I look forward to more announcements in the future."
Additionally Dr. Gill Pratt, former program manager at DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) and leader of its recent Robotics Challenge, has joined Toyota to direct and accelerate these research activities and their application to intelligent vehicles and robotics.
Research at MIT will be led by Professor Daniela Rus, Andrew (1956) and Erna Viterbi Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Director of the I
stitute’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). "Our team will collaborate with Stanford and Toyota to develop advanced architectures that allow cars to better perceive and navigate their surroundings in order to make safe driving decisions," said Professor Rus.
"These efforts will play a major role in helping reduce traffic casualties, and potentially even helping us develop a vehicle incapable of getting into a collision." ■