Toyota invests $50 million in AI for cars, teams up with MIT and Stanford


Toyota invests $50 million in AI for cars and teams up with MIT and Stanford. Researchers at MIT will focus on advanced architectures, while the researchers at Stanford will work on machine learning and computer vision.

Toyota invests $50 million in AI for cars, which will be used over the next five years to set-up joint research facilities at both universities with the aim to build artificial intelligence and robotics for cars that will make vehicles safer to drive.

The Japanese Automaker has hired Gill Pratt, who is a leading roboticist and the ex-program manager at the DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) to oversee the project. According to Kiyotaka Ise, head of the company’s research and development group, the initial focus of the research effort will be on “helping eliminate traffic casualties.”

Toyota invests 50 million in AI for cars

What is the difference between Google’s efforts and Toyota’s?

Google is working to replace the drivers with AI technology that will eliminate the need of drivers in cars. But, Toyota is investing in research technologies that will assist human drivers for safe driving instead of replacing them altogether.

For instance, if a driver gets distracted and begins to swerve into another lane, the driver-assistant technology would sense that and correct the car’s trajectory. This technology will be very helpful for elderly to continue to be mobile.

Toyota invests $50 million in AI for cars, but it is not the first company to do that. The US carmaker, Tesla Motors is very close to launch a semi-automated hands-free system on its Model S sedan, which will be available to customers by the year end.

The Japanese carmaker was one of the first companies, which offered an automated parking system, on the Prius hybrid in 2003. However, it has progressed slowly in comparison to many of its competitors in implementing advanced hands-free automated systems. Toyota invests $50 million in AI for cars, but its executives said the company has no intent to build a fully automated car.