Toyota to invest $2.8 billion in self-driving tech

Toyota is reportedly planning a new venture that would be investing over $2.8 billion to develop automated-driving software, according to a report by

As part of the new venture, the Tokyo-based firm will bring together some 1,000 employees including new hires, will be 90 percent held by Toyota with group suppliers Denso Corp and Aisin Seiki Co each taking five percent.

“Building production-quality software is a critical success factor for Toyota’s automated driving program,” said James Kuffner, who will lead the venture, said in a statement.

“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.”

The establishment of the new venture, Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development, comes as firms such as Alphabet Inc’s Waymo and Tesla 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 Corp and Uber Technologies.

Last month, Toyota Research Institute’s venture capital unit said it was co-leading an $11.5-million seed investment in May Mobility, an Ann Arbor-based startup that is developing self-driving shuttles for college campuses, central business districts and similar low-speed applications.

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