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Toyota Bets $2.8 Billion On Self-driving Cars

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Japanese auto giant Toyota Motor Corp. (TM), Friday announced its plans to invest about $2.8 billion to develop software for autonomous cars.

Toyota announced it will establish a new company in Tokyo named "Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development" (TRI-AD) that will accelerate its efforts in advanced development for automated driving.

Toyota has partnered with Aisin Seiki Co., Ltd. and Denso Corp. for the development of the self-driving software. TMC, Aisin and Denso plan to invest more than 300 billion yen (about $2.8 billion) in TRI-AD. The new company is targeting a staff of around 1,000 employees. Toyota has targeted 2020 for making commercially available self-driving cars.

James Kuffner, who will lead TRI-AD as its CEO, said "Building production-quality software is a critical success factor for Toyota's automated driving program. 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."

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