Toyota announced Friday it would invest $50 million in research facilities at Stanford and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to study and develop artificial intelligence for future safety and autonomous driving.
The facilities will teach computers to recognize and monitor objects — a swerving car vs. a parking one was provided as one example — on the road that drivers are too busy for because “Candy Crush.”
The joint programs at MIT and Stanford will first develop enhanced safety systems designed to “share control” with drivers and computers. Eventually, researchers believe, people will just forget that they care and give up driving to the robots.
While TTAC‘s Mike Smitka published an essay urging readers to reign in their expectations regarding autonomous cars, a new report by MIT’s Technology Review pours even more cold water on the utopian fantasies of those waiting for the day when humans are no longer in control of the automobile.
The car industry is under pressure to improve fuel efficiency. It is not that they have been sitting on their thumbs. Automakers have achieved large increases in fuel efficiency through better technology in recent decades, says MIT economist Christopher Knittel.
The problem is:
“Most of that technological progress has gone into compensating for weight and horsepower.”