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Toyota: Using Artificial Intelligence for advanced materials

By Bob Nagy on March 31, 2017 1:00 PM
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Intent on accelerating the developing of new materials for its future energy-efficient vehicles, Toyota Research Institute has announced it will spend $35 million over the next four years to explore how artificial intelligence can be used to speed the process. Palo Alto, California-based TRI will partner with Stanford University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Michigan, the University at Buffalo and the University of Connecticut as well as the U.K.-based materials science company, Ilika.

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While the primary focus of these efforts will be to revolutionize materials science and identify new advanced battery materials and fuel cell catalysts that can more efficiently power the automaker’s zero-emission and carbon-neutral vehicles, Toyota ultimately intends to apply AI across a broad range of research including machine learning and the design and development new materials. It also will explore new forms of automated materials discovery systems that can more efficiently integrate simulation, machine learning, artificial intelligence and/or robotics into the process.

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“Toyota recognizes that artificial intelligence is a vital basic technology that can be leveraged across a range of industries, and we are proud to use it to expand the boundaries of materials science,” said TRI Chief Science Officer Eric Krotkov. “Accelerating the pace of materials discovery will help lay the groundwork for the future of clean energy and bring us even closer to achieving Toyota’s vision of reducing global average new-vehicle CO2 emissions by 90 percent by 2050.”

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