Toyota is expanding its search for autonomous cars by starting a new company called Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development, or TRI-AD. The Japanese automaker is starting the company together with the automotive supplier Aisin Seiki and Denso, and together they plan to invest $ 2.8 billion in TRI-AD in the coming years and hire about 1,000 employees to develop software systems that can fully feed to themselves-drive vehicles.
Toyota is no stranger to autonomous technology. TRI-AD will be a branch of the Toyota Research Institute, which was founded by the company in North America in 2015 with its own commitment of $ 1 billion. Toyota has used the TRI to explore artificial intelligence with a focus on autonomous vehicles and robotics and hired the former head of the DARPA Robotics Challenge to lead the effort. Since then, TRI has worked on two autonomous technology routes: one for fully autonomous vehicles and another for driver assistance systems. He demonstrated these technologies in a Lexus LS 600hL test vehicle and showed a more optimized hardware set with a new version of the car at CES earlier this year. (Toyota has also begun experimenting with autonomous modules that could serve as rolling stores).
Toyota wants to create every part of a car without a driver, from wheels to software
TRI-AD will be headquartered in Tokyo and its goal is to create "fully integrated production quality software for automatic driving," according to Toyota. It will then aim to "link" that software with what TRI has been developing, with the apparent objective of creating a completely autonomous vehicle that has been created completely in the company.
It is a relatively unique approach in the automotive industry. Many of the major automakers competing to create the first fully autonomous vehicles, at some point, had to leave their own companies and acquire new companies to help improve their technology. GM is about to launch its own Chevy Bolt, which it manufactured after acquiring the autonomous technology startup Cruise Automation in 2016. Ford has accelerated its own efforts to create a self-contained automobile after downloading 1,000 million dollars in a small artificial intelligence company called Argo.
Meanwhile, there are a number of Silicon Valley companies that are trying to create the same (or similar) type of "full stack" solution for self-driving cars that they can then change and sell to the carmakers they want. help. Waymo, which started as the autonomous car project within Google, claims to be one of these companies and has already partnered with Fiat-Chrysler in the development of its vehicles. Aurora Innovations is another. Initiated by the man who ran Google's original stand-alone auto project, Aurora recently reached agreements to provide its own automatic driving technology to Volkswagen and Hyundai.