The research and development of intelligent vehicle and mobility technologies will get a major boost in an ambitious new collaboration between Toyota, Stanford and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Toyota Motor Corp. announced it will invest approximately $50 million over the next five years to establish joint research centers at each university. Dr. Gill Pratt, former program manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and leader of its recent Robotics Challenge, has joined with Toyota to direct and accelerate these research activities and their application to intelligent vehicles and robotics.
Toyota said it believes the opportunities to improve everyday living through artificial intelligence-supported technologies are boundless, with significant breakthrough potential for the development of life-saving intelligent vehicles and life-improving robots.
Research at MIT will be led by Professor Daniela Rus, who is the Andrew (1956) and Erna Viterbi professor of electrical engineering and computer science and director of the Institute’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL).
Led by Professor Fei-Fei Li, director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (SAIL), the Stanford-based research center will collaborate with MIT and Toyota to develop advanced intelligent systems to recognize, understand and act in complex traffic environments.
Beyond Toyota’s longstanding work on autonomous vehicles and advanced driving support systems, the company has been developing robots for industrial use since the 70s, and for Partner and Human Support Robot applications since the 2000s. This collaborative effort will open up new avenues for systems and product development across a broad range of mobility applications.