Toyota has decided to invest 50 million USD in the coming five years in research and development of a self driving car prototype. In this endeavor, the company will be assisted by none other than big names like Stanford University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where the company has already decided to set up a joint research facility to develop this ‘intelligent’ car of the future.
At the beginning, the focus will be to develop systems where the car will able to recognize its surroundings and take actions accordingly. This will prevent accidents and improve road safety. Two people will head the research teams in two universities. Fei-Fei Li, Director at Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, will head the research team in Stanford, while Daniela Russ, professor of Electrical Engineering and Electrical Science at MIT, will head the research team there. From Toyota’s side Gill Pratt, an ex-program manager of DARPA will be in charge.
According to senior Toyota officials, the immediate goal is to develop technology which will reduce accidents and improve road safety, while ultimately the purpose is to enhance “quality of life through development of advanced robotics and mobility”.