Toyota has said that it has hired a top DARPA official, Gill Pratt, to lead a new effort to boost artificial intelligence and autonomous driving efforts. The company will establish labs in partnership with Stanford and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Gill Pratt, until recently was at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, heading DARPA’s robotics challenge, among other projects.
Toyota Senior Managing Officer, Kiyotaka Ise, revealed that with Pratt, they both share a common vision for what artificial intelligence can bring to the table.
“It should save lives, it should improve quality of life and it should continue to be fun,” Ise said, speaking at an event in Palo Alto, California.
Responding to comments about Toyota being behind Google in its own self-driving car efforts, Ise said that Google is focused on completely replacing the driver, while Toyota is looking at ways to take the load off the driver while maintaining the fun of the experience.
Describing what might be possible, MIT artificial intelligence lab director Daniela Rus suggested added intelligence could allow a car to tell when you are having a bad day and put on your favorite song, tell you when you need to pick up milk at the store or remind you when you haven’t called your parents. It could even take over the driving on a straight stretch of road so you can concentrate on the talking to them.
“These are just a few of the possibilities when you bring together cars and artificial intelligence,” Rus said.
“We are ready to roll up our sleeves and get working.”
The project is expected to go for five years and cost $50 million.
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