|9 February 2016|
An ‘all-star group of scientists’ have joined the newly established Toyota Research Institute (TRI) to lead research into artificial intelligence and robots.
Dr Gill Pratt, Toyota’s executive technical advisor and the chief executive officer of the enterprise, introduced the new technical team at the 2016 International Consumer Electronics Show last month.
TRI was first announced in November 2015 with a remit to bridge the gap between fundamental research and product development. It has a five-year, $1 billion war chest to develop transformational technologies including cars that won’t crash, and mobility devices that are functional indoors as out.
“While the most important technology for enhancing human mobility has traditionally been hardware, today software and data are increasingly essential,” said Gill Pratt. “Our leadership team brings decades of experience in pushing the boundaries of human knowledge in computer science and robotics, but we are only getting started. The scale of Toyota’s commitment reflects our belief in the importance of developing safe and reliable automated mobility systems. Simply put, we believe we can significantly improve the quality of life for all people, regardless of age, with mobility products in all aspects of life.”
The TRI headquarters are located in Silicon Valley near Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. A second facility will be located near the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The two offices – opened last month – are located within ten-minute bike rides and walks to the Stanford and MIT campuses and will further accelerate TRI’s partnership with both universities.
Toyota has already committed $50 million over the next five years to support collaborative research into artificial intelligence and robotics research at Stanford and MIT. The program has identified and funded almost thirty initial research projects and project teams.