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Toyota's Automated Driving Programs, Partnerships, and Investments

TOYOTA COMPANIES WORKING ON AUTONOMOUS TECHNOLOGY

JAPAN  

  • Toyota Motor Corporation: TMC’s Advanced R&D and Engineering Company leads the company’s efforts to develop automated driving technologies at the global level, pulling together the resources and work of all the other entities listed here, in addition to organizing the research, development, and testing of these technologies by all relevant functions at Toyota Motor Corporation.

  • Toyota Central Research & Development Laboratories: Toyota CRDL contributes to the present and future businesses of the Toyota Group by conducting research in a variety of fields. At the same time, it surveys global technology trends and explores new fields of science to propose a vision of the future that will lead to new businesses while contributing to the advancement of science, technology, and industry. 

 

NORTH AMERICA

  • Toyota Research Institute (TRI): Toyota Research Institute is a wholly owned subsidiary of Toyota Motor North America under the direction of Dr. Gill Pratt. The company, established in 2015, aims to strengthen Toyota’s research structure and has four initial mandates: 1) enhance the safety of automobiles, 2) increase access to cars to those who otherwise cannot drive, 3) translate Toyota’s expertise in creating products for outdoor mobility into products for indoor mobility, and 4) accelerate scientific discovery by applying techniques from artificial intelligence and machine learning.
     
  • Toyota Motor North America Research and Development (TMNA R&D): TMNA R&D has been the driving force behind Toyota's North American engineering and research and development activities. Based in York Township, Mich., TMNA R&D engineers, scientists and technicians work primarily in three main areas: product development, advanced research and evaluation, and crashworthiness.  

  • Toyota Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC): CSRC partners with leading universities, hospitals, research institutions and federal agencies, with a focus on safety research projects aimed at developing and bringing to market new and advanced safety technologies. Research areas include active/passive integration, human experience, driver state detection and big data/safety analytics, with the results shared publicly with other companies and academia.

  • Toyota Connected: Toyota Connected: Toyota Connected launched in 2016 with two mandates: 1) delivering seamless and contextual services and 2) using cutting-edge data analytics to support product development for customers, dealers, distributors, and partners. Toyota Connected provides a range of data and computer science services across Toyota’s operations, including support for ongoing research into artificial intelligence and robotics and the Toyota Research Institute. Toyota Connected is based in Texas and in Japan.

  • Toyota InfoTechnology Center: Toyota InfoTechnology Center, U.S.A., Inc., is a wholly owned subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation and has five research divisions: Next Generation Mobility and Society Research, Cloud/Infra Architecture, Intelligent Computing, Network, and System & Software. Projects include next generation cloud platform research, AI based distributed processing and data analysis platform research, and intelligent vehicle communication network research.  The company has headquarters in California and Japan.

 

EUROPE

  • Toyota Research on Automated Cars in Europe (TRACE): Toyota Motor Europe’s Advanced Research team in Brussels collaborates with experts across Europe in the field of computer vision for automated cars. It is organized loosely around a lab structure named TRACE (Toyota Research on Automated Cars in Europe).

  • Current partners include KU Leuven, University of Cambridge, CTU Prague, Max Planck Institute Saarbrücken, and ETH in Zürich. Each partner contributes with unique research algorithms, and all elements are integrated into the experimental vehicles under the responsibility of KU Leuven.

    Current activities include state-of-the-art deep learning algorithms for object detection, robust and precise tracking, and full scene segmentation and classification. Monocular and stereo-camera algorithms provide long-range depth measurements. The objective is real time-free space estimation for path planning and vehicle control.


TOYOTA PARTNERSHIPS FOR AUTONOMOUS TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT

 Toyota Research Institute

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology: The CSAIL-Toyota Joint Research Center projects range from autonomy to self-awareness. Research is aimed at furthering the development of automated driving technologies.
     
  • Stanford University: Stanford's SAIL laboratory is engaged in research projects that include human-computer and human-robot interactions. The focus is on developing innovative and impactful approaches, algorithms, and data. The approach includes research in perception, learning, reasoning, and interaction.
     
  • University of Michigan: TRI’s Ann Arbor research facility with University of Michigan (U-M) is focused on research into enhanced driving safety, partner robotics and indoor mobility, automated driving, and student learning and diversity.


    Collaborative Safety Research Center

  • Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Virginia, Ohio State University: A project attempting to quantify key occupant responses (kinematics, kinetics and muscle activity) to evasive swerving and emergency braking using both adult and child subjects on a test track.
     
  • Virginia Tech: A research study attempting to estimate the Residual Safety Problem after Integrated Safety Systems (ISS) is deployed in 2025. ISS consists of all active (auto braking for vehicle, pedestrian, bicyclist, lane keeping, etc.) and passive safety systems (advanced airbag, curtain shield airbag, roof strength, pedestrian protection active hood, etc.)

  • University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute: An investigation into kinematics of minimally aware adult occupants exposed to Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) and evasive maneuvers on a test track.
     
  • University of Iowa: Research attempting to measure the response characteristics and estimated benefit with respect to reduction in injury/fatalities of adaptive headlamp system that highlights detected pedestrians and bicyclists using both driver and pedestrian/bicycle simulator study
     
  • TASI – Indiana University, Purdue University at Indianapolis: A project attempting to develop test scenarios and methods for the evaluation of vehicle road departure warning and assist and control systems on a test track
     
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology Age Lab: A project attempting to develop a deep-learning-based, full-scene recognition of vehicle environment from a vision sensor. Examples are vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, traffic signs, buildings, curbs, etc.
     
  • University of Wisconsin: A project attempting to provide a theoretical and mathematical framework of how drivers communicate with each other in an intersection.
     
  • University of California at San Diego: A project attempting to provide a computational prediction model for a transfer of control between the automation and the human driver. The model has factors originated from human motor and perceptual behaviors as well as from scenarios and environments

  • University of Iowa – National Advanced Driving Simulator: A project attempting to provide a meaningful and useful dataset of driver behaviors when encountering situations where transfer of control between automation and the human is required.


TOYOTA INVESTMENTS IN AUTOMATED DRIVING TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES

Toyota invests in a broad range of companies, either directly through capital investment, through investment funds established in partnership with financial institutions, or through the corporate venture capital arm of the Toyota Research Institute, called Toyota AI Ventures. Portfolio companies include:


Nauto provides a technology system for professional drivers and fleet managers that monitors drivers and the road environment to prevent collisions improve driver behavior, and learn from the diverse data shared across its smart cloud network. The Nauto device is packed with AI-powered sensors and mounted inside a vehicle's windshield, where it provides powerful visual context inside and outside the vehicle and collects data that can provide meaningful insights.


Intuition Robotics is a leader in the development of social companion technology, including its ElliQ active-aging robotic companion. The company’s technology is designed to positively impact the lives of millions of older adults by connecting them seamlessly with family and friends, making technology accessible and intuitive, and promoting an active lifestyle.


SLAMcore develops advanced algorithms designed to help technology platforms such as autonomous cars, drones, and AR/VR systems to simultaneously build a map of their surroundings and position themselves within it. Critically, SLAMcore approaches this challenge with a core focus on power efficiency, a crucial factor for autonomous mobility applications given the need to maximize the power available for locomotion.