Toyota to invest .4b in artificial intelligence firm

Toyota Motor Corp. is investing US$1 billion (S$1.4 billion) over five years to establish a new artificial intelligence and robotics research company, the world’s biggest auto maker said Friday.The company, called Toyota Research Institute, will be based in Silicon Valley and will be headed by Gill Pratt, who worked at the US defence department’s robotics arm and joined Toyota earlier this year, Toyota said.Toyota’s investment is the latest sign of the merging paths of Silicon Valley and the automotive sector. As cars become increasingly controlled by software, new players like Google are entering the sector with self-driving technologies, while many auto makers have been setting up arms in Silicon Valley in an effort to grasp the latest software and robotics trends.The investment also underscores Toyota’s ample cash hoard as it…


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