Toyota Is Opening a Third Artificial Intelligence Research Site


Toyota toyof will expand the footprint of its artificial intelligence and robotics research center by adding a third facility in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Gill Pratt, CEO of the Toyota Research Institute, made the announcement on Thursday during his keynote speech at Nvidia’s GPU Technology Conference in San Jose. The Ann Arbor facility will be located near the University of Michigan, where it will fund research in artificial intelligence, robotics, and materials science.

Last year, the world’s largest automaker said it would invest $1 billion over the next five years in a research center for artificial intelligence to be based in Palo Alto, Calif. The institute aims to bridge the gap between research in AI and robotics in order to bring this technology to market. The technology is largely being developed for self-driving cars, but the institute is also researching and developing AI products for the home.

TRI opened two locations in January, both near universities with which it is partnering. The Palo Alto location is located conveniently next to existing AI partner Stanford University, while a second site in Cambridge, Mass. is near the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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The Ann Arbor location is scheduled to open in June with a staff of approximately 50 people. Roughly 60 people are working for TRI right now with more being hired every week, Pratt told Fortune in an interview at the GPU Technology Conference. Ultimately, the Palo Alto facility will employ 150 people.

The Toyota Research Institute is working on developing fully autonomous (or chauffeured) driving and what it’s calling “guardian angel” driving, which is when the driver is always engaged but the vehicle assists as needed.

TRI is taking an interesting approach to self-driving cars.;

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