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Friday, March 02, 2018
Toyota to Invest $2.8bn in Self-driving Research

Toyota Motor Corp., Denso Corp. and Aisin Seiki Co will form a joint venture for researching and developing automated-driving technology, investing more than 300 billion yen ($2.8 billion).

The Japanese venture will be formed later this month and aim to employ about 1,000 workers, including new hires, the companies said in a statement.

James Kuffner, chief technology officer of U.S.-based Toyota Research Institute, will head the company, to be called Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development and held 90 percent by Toyota. Group suppliers Denso Corp and Aisin Seiki Co each taking 5 percent.

"This company's mission is to accelerate software development in a more effective and disruptive way, by augmenting the Toyota Group's capability through the hiring of world-class software engineers," said James Kuffner.

The new venture comes as firms such as Alphabet Inc's Waymo and Tesla Inc give traditional automakers a run for their money in building self-driving and electric cars.

Toyota is also investing $1 billion in artificial intelligence and other technologies through its U.S.-based Toyota Research Institute, and has struck up technology partnerships with Microsoft and Uber Technologies.

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