Toyota Research Institute — Advanced Development

The Silicon Valley office of Toyota Research Institute is within a long walk of Udacity’s headquarters in Mountain View, but they’ve been pretty quite about what they’re up to.

News today is that Toyota is creating a sister organization, based in Japan, called Toyota Research Institute — Advanced Development. TRI-AD will be headquartered in Tokyo as a partnership between Toyota and suppliers Aisin and Denso. Although Toyota is putting up 90% of the money.

Although the business will be located in Tokyo, it’s CEO will be current TRI CTO and former CMU professor James Kuffner, the chairman will be current TRI CEO Gil Pratt and former MIT professor Gil Pratt. And the language of TRI-AD is going to be English.

“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,” [says Kuffner].

It appears Toyota is setting up TRI as the pure research division and TRI-AD as the bridge to production, since TRI-AD will be in Japan and closer to Toyota’s main production facilities.

Oh, and did I mention they’re committing an additional $3 billion dollars to this?

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