- A new company established in Silicon Valley, California in January 2016
- $1 billion investment over 5 years to create a center for Toyota technology innovation
- Accelerating R&D into AI to support future industrial technologies and lead to creation of a new industry
Toyota Motor Corporation established a new company, Toyota Research Institute, Inc. (TRI), in Silicon Valley, California in January 2016, as a base to boost research and development into artificial intelligence (AI) technology and will invest some $1 billion over the coming 5 years.
AI is important technology that will be the basis for future industrial technologies and is also expected to give rise to an entirely new industry. Toyota intends to position TRI as a base for technology innovation, accelerating research and development related to AI.
Gill A. Pratt, Toyota's Executive Technical Advisor, was appointed Chief Executive Officer of TRI, and will hire leading researchers and engineers while boosting its research structure by advancing collaborative research partnerships with jointly established research centers at MIT and Stanford Universities.
TRI's CEO Dr. Pratt enthusiastically explained that "TRI will engage in development of AI technology that can work in harmony with humans, such as the pursuit of vehicles that do not cause accidents, mobility that is available to everyone, and robots that provide respectful support for the elderly. Furthermore, we hope to contribute to society by conducting R&D for the application of AI in a wide-range of fields, including the search for new materials and manufacturing management systems."
Toyota President Akio Toyoda commented that "Our pursuit of AI technology is to make life better for society. 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."