Toyota's self-driving software research gets $2.8B boost

Toyota's self-driving software research gets $2.8B boost

Toyota's self-driving software research gets $2.8B boost

In conjunction with its partners Denso and Aisin, TRI-AD will hit the ground running with more than $2.8 billion in investments.

The new company will elevate TRI CTO James Kuffner to TRI-AD CEO, with TRI CEO Gil Pratt acting as Chairman of the Board for the new entity.

It will be based in Tokyo and initially employ 300 people on its way to expanding to a staff of some 1,000 people, Toyota said Friday. Its focus will be specifically on advanced development of automated driving technology, whereas TRI's mandate is more broad, and includes material science work towards advanced battery tech as well as robotics work, in addition to self-driving research.

Specialist factors like engine technology, road holding and handling, and how a auto drives will become much less relevant to vehicle buyers' decision-making. The goal is to accelerate Toyota's efforts in developing and deploying "fully integrated, production-quality software" for use in self-driving vehicles. Toyota says it expects to build that workforce both by internal recruitment from its own ranks, and from both Aisin and Denso, as well as global recruitment of external candidates. High-quality software development and big data from connected vehicles will be crucial to success.

Toyota will invest 90%, while the other two business will each invest 5%. He claimed that the project will "dramatically enhance Toyota's software capabilities".

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- Strengthen coordination with TRI and efficiently link research results to product development.

Platform 3.0 represents maturing of TRI's automated vehicle research.

- Strengthen the collaboration within the Toyota Group in the domains of research and advanced development.

He said: "Toyota is known for the quality and efficiency of the Toyota Production System (TPS)". "That's what TRI has been working for, and that's what the new company will push even further". Dr. James Kuffner, now the CTO of the Toyota Research Institute in North America, will be leading the new TRI-AD business.

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