Toyota has detailed plans to establish its third US research facility in Ann Arbor, near the University of Michigan campus.
Known by the monicker TRI-ANN, the new Toyota Research Institute facility will focus on research initiatives related to artificial intelligence, robotics, materials science and other subjects.
A team of 50 researchers and technicians will be tasked with enhancing automobile safety, helping develop a car that is “incapable of causing a crash” regardless of the driver’s skill or condition. The wording suggests the vehicle will take advantage of semi-autonomous technology to help prevent accidents, even if the car is not operating in a fully autonomous mode.
The company also promises to expand access to cars for seniors and individuals with special needs, while exploring potential ‘indoor mobility’ products to move goods or people.
The Ann Arbor campus will complement work already being done at TRI-CAM in Cambridge near MIT, and TRI-PAL in Palo Alto near Stanford.
“TRI was drawn to Ann Arbor because of the strength of the university; the utility of Mcity and the Mobility Transformation Center which we currently sponsor; the promise of the future American Center for Mobility at Willow Run; and the proximity to, and synergies with, our two well-established Toyota Technical Centers nearby,” said TRI chief Dr. Gill Pratt.
The new facility is scheduled to open in June.