Although the industry has made great strides over the last five years, we are a long way from the finish line of fully automated cars. When you look at what is currently being tested and developed in the field of autonomous vehicles, you will find that these systems can only handle certain speed ranges, certain weather conditions, certain street complexity, or certain traffic. Most of what has been collectively accomplished has been relatively easy because most driving is easy. Where we need autonomy to help us, is when the driving is difficult. And it’s this hard part that TRI intends to address. That means understanding difficult driving scenarios, and building AI systems that learn from, and evolve to predict, such scenarios.
TRI will also apply AI technology to the challenge of home robotics. Here, fueled by our aging society and the remarkable progress in electronics and computer science, we see a need for machines to assist in mobility beyond the realm of what is currently possible. Home robots may become even more personally prized in our future than cars have been in our past. It is entirely possible that robots will become for today’s Toyota what the car industry was when Toyota made looms.
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