Toyota to set up a new company for automated driving

Toyota join hands with Tier 1s, Aisin and Denso to set up the new company with an investment of 300 billion yen

Japanese auto maker Toyota will establish a new company in Tokyo christened “Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development” (TRI-AD) to accelerate its efforts in advanced development for automated driving.

To carry out new efforts at TRI-AD, Toyota Motor Corporation, Aisin Seiki and Denso Corporation have concluded a memorandum of understanding on joint development of fully-integrated, production-quality software for automated driving.

Toyota, Aisin and Denso have planned to invest more than 300 billion yen in TRI-AD, which is expected to have a staff strength of around 1,000 employees, including external recruitment and staff from Toyota Motor, Toyota Research Institute (TRI) and Toyota Group Companies, Aisin and Denso.

Toyota is in the process of selecting a location in Tokyo that is competitive in terms of accessibility and recruitment. The current Chief Technology Officer of TRI Dr. James Kuffner will lead TRI-AD as its CEO.

“Building production-quality software is a critical success factor for Toyota’s automated driving program,” said Dr. Kuffner. “This company’s mission is to accelerate software development in a more effective and disruptive way, by augmenting the Toyota Group’s capability through the hiring of world-class software engineers. We will recruit globally, and I am thrilled to lead this effort.”

Currently the automobile industry is in an era of profound transformation. High-quality software development and big data from connected vehicles will be crucial to success. To respond to such changes, Toyota had set up TRI in 2016 in North America to conduct research in the areas of artificial intelligence, automated driving, and robotics.