Toyota Working On AI With MIT, Stanford

Toyota has entered the self-driving car world by partnering with MIT and Stanford. The car company is going to invest $50 million over the next five years in artificial intelligence research. That research will be focused on applications for vehicles, particularly those in the realm of increasing safety.

Dr. Gill Pratt, a former DARPA program manager, has been brought on board for this initiative. Pratt says one goal of the project is to "eliminate highway collisions without eliminating the fun of driving." Toyota also wants autonomous vehicle systems to help the elderly continue travelling after they have lost the ability to drive safely.

The car technology that comes out of this initiative won't replace human drivers, but it will help drivers operate their vehicles safely. Daniela Rus, a researcher with MIT, says the technology could "watch our backs" when we are operating vehicles.

Toyota has other investments in artificial intelligence beyond the $50 million.