Paving the way toward a future of self-driving vehicles, Toyota recently announced that it will be opening the Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development (TRI-AD) in Tokyo later this month. A news release states that the Toyota Motor Corporation is working with Aisin Seiki Co. Ltd. and the Denso Corporation on this $2.8 billion joint venture, all for the purpose of engineering “fully-integrated, production-quality software for automated driving.” The TRI-AD is expected to employ about 1,000 employees and they will be led by CEO Dr. James Kuffner, the current chief technology officer at the North American branch of the Toyota Research Institute (TRI).
“Building production-quality software is a critical success factor for Toyota’s automated driving program,” Kuffner said in the release. “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.”
The release states that the TRI-AD will have four main objectives after the company opens. They are:
- Create a smooth software pipeline from research to commercialization that leverages data-handling capabilities
- Strengthen coordination with TRI and efficiently link research results to product development
- Strengthen the collaboration within the Toyota Group in the domains of research and development
- Recruit and employ top-level engineers globally while cultivating and coordinating the strong talent within the Toyota Group.
“Toyota is known for the quality and efficiency of the Toyota Production System (TPS). I have no doubt that we can translate the fundamental ideas of TPS from the production of hardware to the production of software, and dramatically enhance Toyota’s software capabilities,” Dr. Gill Pratt, TMC Fellow, TRI CEO and chairman of the new TRI-AD Board of Directors, said in the release. “That’s what TRI has been working for, and that’s what the new company will push even further.”
Our team at Western Slope Toyota is excited about the TRI-AD and all the amazing developments that are sure to come from it. We cannot wait to see what the future holds. For more information on the Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development, click here.