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Toyota: Software to enhance car ownership experience


Cars to become "Computers on wheels"

With the advent of semi-autonomous driving cars and connectivity advancements, “Computers on wheels” will be soon be a reality says James Kuffner, chief technology officer at Toyota Research Institute.

Kuffner believes that advancements in computer sciences will bring the automobile to “future capabilities”, as well as making them safer and more personalised. “If you have software systems that are able to adapt and to be personalized. Those are things that I think will provide value and give customers a much better experience,” Kuffner said. He also believes that it will enhance ownership experience between vehicle and consumer thanks to infrastructure, smartphone and vehicle connectivity features. 

In an interview with Automotive News he shared that he takes some inspiration from KITT, the automotive sidekick of Michael Knight in Knight Rider. “The idea that there’s some intelligence embedded there in a vehicle is going to be a big idea,” said Kuffner.


Kuffner worked for the Google's robotic division before joining Toyota in January. He adds that with the Google’s self-driving car project, Toyota and other automakers opened their view to possibilities.

At the CAR Management Briefing Seminars, Toyota said that they plan to spend $1 billion in creating AI,the backbone of automated and connected vehicles. Tech companies and regulators are also cooperating together to boost development.

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