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Feb 13, 2017 08:33 AM EST

Toyota Partners With MIT And Stanford University For Its AI Research


The Japanese carmaker Toyota has partnered with MIT and Stanford University as it pushes its artificial intelligence and robotics endeavor further. The said research will help the company's push in implementing self-driving features to its cars.

Toyota has announced that it will be giving $50 million to new MIT and Stanford research centers which will be dedicated to research focusing on artificial intelligence and robotics. Whatever development the research centers will make will be shared to the car manufacturer which, in turn, will incorporate in their future car designs.

Both universities have been known to have started research on self-driving projects which other countries have adopted. For example, the technology nuTonomy, a startup based in Singapore, is adapting started as an MIT incubator project. The Singaporean company is testing how viable self-driving shuttles in Singapore are. On the other hand, Stanford was responsible for Start.AI and Zoox.

To lead the research team for Toyota is Dr. Gill Pratt, who used to work for the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency or DARPA as a project manager and leader of the agency's robotics competition.

Toyota did not reveal more about the project but it wants to take the project step-by-step and lead to a safer driverless future. Fei Fei Li, head of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab, added that the project is not as simple as talking to Siri.

On the other hand, Toyota's senior managing officer Kiyotaka Ise said, the research project's main goal is to increase the quality of life of people as well as reducing traffic congestion and car accidents.

A car company partnering with a university for research is not something new. Back in 2015, Uber partnered with the University of Michigan and Carnegie Mellon University to be part of its self-driving division.

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