Toyota establishes new company to advance automated driving
Toyota announced it will establish a new company, Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development (TRI-AD), to accelerate its efforts in developing automated driving technologies.
To enable the efforts at TRI-AD, Toyota Motor Corp. (TMC), Aisin Seiki Co., Ltd., and Denso Corp. have concluded a memorandum of understanding on joint development of fully integrated, production-quality software for automated driving. The three companies will hold further discussions, aiming to conclude a concrete joint development contract.
TMC, Aisin, and Denso plan to invest more than 300 billion yen in TRI-AD. The new company is targeting a staff of approximately 1000 employees, including external recruitment and staff from TMC, TRI, and Toyota Group Companies Aisin and Denso. Toyota is in the process of selecting a location in Tokyot.
Dr. James Kuffner, currently TRI chief technology officer, 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."
The key objectives of the new company include the following:
- Create a smooth software pipeline from research-to-commercialization, leveraging 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 advanced 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," said Dr. Gill Pratt, TMC Fellow, TRI CEO, and chairman of the new TRI-AD Board of Directors. "That's what TRI has been working for, and that's what the new company will push even further."