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Toyota to Form New Company Focusing on Self-Driving Systems

Toyota said it will establish a new company called Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development (TRI-AD), which will focus on developing autonomous driving technology.

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Toyota said it will establish a new company called Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development (TRI-AD), which will focus on developing autonomous driving technology.

The new company will work with suppliers Aisin Seiki Co. and Denso Corp. “on joint development of fully integrated, production-quality software for automated driving,” according to Toyota.

“Going forward, the three companies will hold further discussions, aiming to conclude a concrete joint development contract,” the automaker added.

Toyota, Aisin and Denso plan to pour more than 300 billion yen ($2.8 billion) into the new venture, according to the automaker.

“Building production-quality software is a critical success factor for Toyota’s automated driving program,” said James Kuffner, chief technology officer for the Toyota Research Institute. Kuffner will lead TRI-AD as its CEO. “This company’s mission is to accelerate software development in a more effective and disruptive way, by augmenting the Toyota Group’s capability through the hiring of world-class software engineers. We will recruit globally, and I am thrilled to lead this effort.”

Toyota expects TRI-AD to start with approximately 300 employees and eventually grow to 1,000 employees. The automaker added that it “is in the process of selecting a location in Tokyo that is competitive in terms of accessibility and recruitment.”

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Toyota, the Toyota Research Institute and TRI-AD “will have a streamlined relationship, resulting in a fast-track, truly integrated development model,” Toyota said.

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