Toyota establishing new company to accelerate its efforts in 'advanced development for automated driving'



In the latter part of March, Toyota will establish a new company in Tokyo called the “Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development” (TRI-AD). The company is expected to accelerate Toyota's efforts in “advanced development for automated driving.”

TRI-AD will be led by Toyota Research Institute, Inc. (TRI) Chief Technology Officer Dr. James Kuffner, who will serve as the company’s CEO.

“Building production-quality software is a critical success factor for Toyota’s automated driving program,” Dr. Kuffner says.

“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.”

To enable the new efforts at TRI-AD, Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), Aisin Seiki Co., Ltd. (Aisin), and Denso Corporation (Denso) have concluded a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on “joint development of fully-integrated, production-quality software for automated driving.” Going forward, the three companies will hold additional discussions, “aiming to conclude a concrete joint development contract.”

Together, TMC, Aisin and Denso plan to invest more than 300 billion yen (nearly three billion US Dollars) in TRI-AD. TRI-AD is looking to have a staff of approximately 1,000 employees, including external recruitment and staff from TMC, TRI, and Toyota Group Companies Aisin and Denso. Toyota says that it currently in the process of selecting a location in Tokyo that is competitive in terms of accessibility and recruitment.

TRI-AD will have several key objectives. Those objectives include: “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, and; 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,” says 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.”

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