Toyota is making a significant investment in artificial intelligence and robotics, with a $1bn research and development centre set to open in Silicon Valley. The new facility, named the Toyota Research Institute, will focus on improving car safety, making driving accessible to everyone, and applying Toyota’s technology and knowledge to improve quality of life beyond vehicles. The company’s move follows similar investments by other major car manufacturers, signalling a growing trend in the automotive industry.

The institute, set to open in January 2016, will be led by Dr. Gill Pratt, a leading figure in robotics and former programme manager at the US military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The team will use machine learning to develop cars that are safer and more enjoyable to drive, as well as exploring ways to use artificial intelligence in other areas, such as in-home robots for assistance with everyday tasks.

Toyota’s decision to invest heavily in AI and robotics is a strategic move to remain competitive in an industry that is increasingly turning to technology to improve safety and driver experience. The new research institute will play a crucial role in advancing these technologies and shaping the future of the automotive industry.

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