Toyota’s dropping $2.8B to develop its own self-driving software company
In a partnership with automotive suppliers Aisin Seiki and Denso, Toyota is launching a new company called TRI-AD (Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development) to create a self-driving car that’s built totally in-house — software and all.
And, they’re putting some serious resources behind it: Toyota plans to hire close to 1k employees and invest $2.8B in the new company to develop their software.
“Another company making autonomous cars, big whoop”
Actually, it is a big whoop. Toyota is one of the only big car manufacturers tackling the software side of the equation on their own, rather than acquiring an outside tech startup to develop their self-driving line.
On the other side, there are the tech players trying to develop self-driving software they can sell to carmakers and suppliers, like Google’s Waymo (which is working with Fiat-Chrysler), Aurora (working with Volkswagen and Hyundai), or nuTonomy (acquired by auto supplier Delphi).
Everyone’s looking for a date to the self-driving dance
The web of self-driving partnerships grows denser by the day (here’s an illustration if you’re having trouble keeping it straight).
But, with more and more companies pairing off to launch their respective projects, a successful in-house venture could afford Toyota some valuable autonomy in the self-driving space.