Artificial Intelligence

U of Michigan AI Studies Receives $22 Million from Toyota

The university will use the funding to build a research facility on campus that is focused on autonomous vehicles and advanced robotics projects.

Artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and autonomous piloting at the University of Michigan (U-M) are receiving a financial push to accelerate research. The Toyota Research Institute (TRI), Toyota’s R&D organization, is committing $22 million over the next four years for research collaborations with U-M faculty and students.

TRI CEO Gill Pratt made the announcement last week in an address to the university’s faculty. “Toyota has long enjoyed an excellent working relationship with the University of Michigan, and we are excited to expand our collective efforts to address complex mobility challenges through artificial intelligence,” Pratt said.

U-M will use the $22 million commitment to conduct research in the areas of enhanced driving safety, partner robotics and indoor mobility, autonomous driving and student learning and diversity.

The news follows TRI’s April announcement that it would build an AI research facility at U-M and hire robotics professors to support the research. The facility is TRI’s third location, joining offices near Stanford and MIT.

“TRI was drawn to Ann Arbor because of the broad strengths of the university and the region, particularly in areas related to the emergence of high-level driver-assist systems, eventually leading to fully autonomous vehicles. TRI will also be near two well-established Toyota Technical Center campuses,” according to a news release.

As part of the agreement, U-M will issue a broad call for proposals from university faculty that address challenges in mobility, safety and home robotics.

Further information about the facility and the $22 million donation is available on the Toyota site.

About the Author

Sri Ravipati is Web producer for THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at sravipati@1105media.com.

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