Toyota hires robotics guru

REUTERSPicture: Francois Lenoir San Francisco – Toyota Motor Corporation has hired Gill Pratt, the US military’s top robotics engineer, as part of a $50 million investment in artificial-intelligence research designed to reduce highway deaths and injuries. Joint research centres will be established at Stanford University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the automaker said in a statement on Friday. Pratt, who taught at MIT for several years, had been programme manager for the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency’s robotics efforts. Automakers are studying artificial intelligence as demographic shifts such as ageing, population increases and the growth of megacities pose challenges for mobility. Toyota and the teams at the two schools will focus on improving a vehicle’s ability to recognise objects, navigate different environments and interact with other cars and pedestrians. “One…

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