Toyota Motor Corp (ADR) (NYSE:TM) has recently announced that it has decided to set up a research and development company in Silicon Valley to build a self-driven car against their previous stand on the issue.
World’s top selling automaker Toyota Motor Corp has decided to invest $1 billion over the next five years in the new research and Development Company they look to establish in Silicon Valley to make their name in the self-driving car challenge.
The company has always been septic about the idea, with Toyota President Akio Toyoda saying that he always had the notion that they needed to enter the automated car dream only when an automated car would defeat a human-driven car in a 24-hour race. However, things have changed since Akio Toyoda has been involved in the preparations for the 2023 Olympics and Paralympics games that will be hosted in Tokyo.
He says the need for automated cars for disabled and elderly people became evident to him while working in the Olympics preparation and hence the decision to invest big in the automated car industry.
Toyota Motor Corp (ADR) (NYSE:TM) joins a list of other companies like Apple and Alphabet that have been staining themselves to make an automated car for some time now. Toyota’s new company will have about 200 staff which will be focusing on artificial intelligence and big data in their bid to create a self-driven car.
Toyota Research Institute’s CEO Gill Pratt believes it is a tall order, for there are many complications in the field as of now. However, he believes that the job can be done in the near future. He plans to tap into Toyota’s huge customer base to feed the artificial systems that the new company in Silicon Valley will be building.
“As these vehicles travel, they produce a tremendous amount of information. Information about the vehicle, information about the environment and the information about the driver. We can use that information for tremendous social good. It is the key to accelerate the evolution of our future technology.”
As of now, Toyota vehicles all over the world travel a combined distance of one trillion kilometers. This could provide valuable information about the cars, the environment or precept knowledge they record as well as details about the drivers.
All this could be fed into the artificial systems, providing them a good knowledge base to interact with their environment using the actuators they will be provided. Gill Pratt says if all goes well, people could expect a Toyota self-driven car within the next 5 years.