Self-driving cars were once a thing of fantasy, science fiction, and the future. Well, in that case, the future is much closer than many people realize. Toyota’s recent investment of $8.2 million in an artificial intelligence firm gives the nod to self-driving vehicles. The automaker isn’t the only company investing in artificial intelligence.
Apple recently bought a 6% stake in Preferred Networks, the same artificial intelligence company Toyota bought a 3% stake in. On top of that, Toyota has been working with the company since October 2014.
If that isn’t enough indication that the world’s largest global automaker is looking to put autonomous cars on the road sooner rather than later, there’s more.
Toyota also plans to invest $50 million over the next five years in a joint research center with Stanford and MIT. That may not sound like much for such a large automaker, and it isn’t.
Investing $1 billion over five years in the Toyota Research Institute, based in Silicon Valley, however, is an investment that shows how serious Toyota is.
Toyota’s self-driving cars are planned to hit public roadways as early as 2020. Keep in mind that’s just four years away!
Here at Thousand Oaks Toyota, we can’t wait to see what technology will come out of these investments!