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Toyota invests $50 million for car AI research at MIT, Stanford

To advance computer-assisted driving technology, Toyota is committing $50 million toward research at MIT and Stanford, the company announced last Friday.

The technology could save lives by averting accidents when drivers doze off, for example, researchers suggested.

Toyota executives told media that they believe self-driving cars are still years away, though other automakers and tech companies have already been working to completely obviate the need for human drivers.

The new collaboration will instead pursue technology that can prevent collisions or assist drivers in tricky traffic using computer vision and smart planning, researchers said.

“What if cars could become our trusted partners?” MIT professor Daniela Rus asked, according to the Associated Press. Rus will lead the Toyota-CSAIL Joint Research Center.

—Leon Lin