Toyota Motor Corporation is set to invest $50 million over the next five years in order for Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Stanford to dedicate continued research on ‘computer science and human-machine interaction with an immediate goal of reducing highway injuries and fatalities.’
Heading the project is Dr. Gill Pratt, former Program Manager at DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) and leader of its recent Robotics Challenge, assisted by MIT professors Daniela Rus and Erna Viterbi who is a professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and the Director of the Institute's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), and also by the Director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (SAIL) Professor Fei-Fei Li
The project’s goal is to improve our daily lives by developing life-saving intelligent vehicles and life-improving robots.
"We're here today to mark the beginning of an unprecedented commitment. We will initially focus on the acceleration of intelligent vehicle technology, with the immediate goal of helping eliminate traffic casualties and the ultimate goal of helping improve quality of life through enhanced mobility and robotics. This partnership, directed by Dr. Pratt, is a great opportunity to work with two leading research teams from two top universities. I am very excited about what this new venture means for Toyota, and I look forward to more announcements in the future," said Kiyotaka Ise, TMC Senior Managing Officer and Chief Officer at a press conference.
"This bold collaboration will address extremely complex mobility challenges using ground breaking artificial intelligence research. I'm thrilled to be a part of the synergies and talent-sharing of Toyota, MIT, and Stanford. Key program areas will be addressed by the two university campuses and Toyota, with combined research targeted at improving the ability of intelligent vehicle technologies to recognize objects around the vehicle in diverse environments, provide elevated judgment of surrounding conditions, and safely collaborate with vehicle occupants, other vehicles, and pedestrians. The joint research will also look at applications of the same technology to human-interactive robotics and information service," said project lead Dr. Gill Pratt.