TORRANCE, California – Saying it aims to make “driving accessible to everyone,” Toyota on Thursday announced it will invest $1 billion over the next five years in artificial intelligence and robotics to develop self-driving cars.
“Toyota believes artificial intelligence has significant potential to support future industrial technologies and the creation of an entirely new industry,” the Japanese automaker said in a statement.
A key goal is to “improve safety by continuously decreasing the likelihood that a car will be involved in an accident,” Toyota said.
It also plans to “apply Toyota technology used for outdoor mobility to indoor environments, particularly for the support of seniors” and accelerate scientific discovery in materials.
Toyota is setting up a new company, called Toyota Research Institute. It is set to begin operations in January. The headquarters will be located in Silicon Valley near Stanford University, with a second facility to be located near the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Edmunds says: Self-driving cars continue to edge closer to reality, as automakers from Tesla to Toyota make autonomous driving a major focus.