Toyota Injects $1 Billion Into Silicon Valley AI Firm To Advance Autonomous Vehicles
There will also be a second facility near the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Between the two, Toyota has committed to an initial investment of $1 billion over the next five years, which will go towards creating the new facilities, staffing them, and conducting operations. Another $50 million will come from MIT and Stanford to establish joint AI research centers at both universities, Toyota said.
Toyota's initial goals are focused on autonomous driving, and specifically towards making
"As technology continues to progress, so does our ability to improve products. At Toyota, we do not pursue innovation simply because we can; we pursue it because we should," said Akio Toyoda, President of Toyota. "It is our responsibility to make life better for our customers, and society as a whole. I want to work with Gill, not just because he is a great researcher, but because I believe that his goals and motivations are the same as ours."
The "Gill" he references is Gill Pratt, Toyota's Executive Technical Adviser and the CEO of the new enterprise, which will begin operations in January of next year. Between the two facilities, Toyota plans to staff around 200 people.