Toyota is to establish its third Toyota Research Institute (TRI) facility in the USA. TRI-ANN will be located in Ann Arbor near the University of Michigan (U-M) where it will fund research into artificial intelligence, robotics and materials science.
TRI-ANN is scheduled to open in June and will house approximately 50 experts. It joins TRI-PAL, which was established last January in Palo Alto, California, and works with Stanford University, and TRI-CAM in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which works with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Dr Gill Pratt, CEO of TRI, said, “TRI was drawn to Ann Arbor because of the strength of the university; the utility of Mcity and the Mobility Transformation Center which we currently sponsor; the promise of the future American Center for Mobility at Willow Run; and the proximity to and synergies with our two well-established Toyota Technical Centers nearby.”
A group of around 15 team members will transfer to the new TRI-ANN facility when it opens. U-M professors Ryan Eustice and Edwin Olson are joining TRI-ANN to lead research in mapping/localization and perception, respectively. Both will be based at the Ann Arbor office, and will retain their U-M faculty positions.
Although the focus of each of the three strategically located facilities will be broad, each will feature a different core discipline: TRI-ANN will focus primarily on fully autonomous driving; TRI-PAL will work on ‘guardian angel’ driving, where the driver is always engaged but the vehicle assists as needed; and TRI-CAM will dedicate a large portion of its work to simulation and deep learning.
April 12, 2016