This week the folks at Toyota Motor Corporation announced their intent to create a new company called “Toyota Research Institute, Inc.” centered on Artificial Intelligence. This company would mainly be a research and development entity, and will have its headquarters located in in Silicon Valley near Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. This will be one of two locations where the R&D company will be located, a second coming to Cambridge, Massachusetts near the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
The Toyota Research Institute will have several goals. According to Toyota’s Executive Technical Advisor and the Chief Executive Officer of the new enterprise Dr. Gill Pratt, these initial goals will be as follows:
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.”
3. “Apply Toyota technology used for outdoor mobility to indoor environments, particularly for the support of seniors.”
The date of establishment for this company will be January of 2016 – so right away in the new year. The initial investment Toyota is making for this company is $1 billion over a period of 5 years. The initial plan for number of employees is 200 – or thereabouts.
“We also plan to apply our work more broadly,” said Dr. Pratt, “for example to improve production efficiency and accelerate scientific discovery in materials.”
Akio Toyoda, President of Toyota Motor Corporation, added, “At Toyota, we do not pursue innovation simply because we can; we pursue it because we should.”
“It is our responsibility to make life better for our customers, and society as a whole. I want to work with Gill, not just because he is a great researcher, but because I believe that his goals and motivations are the same as ours.”
Above you’ll be able to watch the entire press conference where Toyota introduced this new company to the world.