In a recent development, Denso and Aisin Seiki, two of the key Toyota motor group members along with two of their other counterparts have recently stated that they are all coming together to collaborate and venture into a new project for self-driving vehicles by combining their research and development operations.
This new venture is expected to be set up by the end of the year. Designing self-driving vehicles is no easy task and they are all expected to join hands, pooling in their resources to develop integrated packages of self-driving systems. The cars will be backed by artificial intelligence which will provide key assistance for controlling acceleration, braking, and steering.
This initiative is aimed to provide tough competition to Germany’s Robert Bosch and other European auto parts suppliers.
The autonomous driving competition already picking up the pace, recently companies from outside the auto industry, the likes of a Google affiliate and China's Baidu have also jumped into the race. AI which has recently taken up the world of technology by storm is crucial to operate cars that are self-driven. Hence, tech giants across the world have now shifted their focus to perfecting this new technology.
With investments pouring in from Jtekt and other Aisin subsidiary like Advics that produces brakes, this new project is expected to start soon. Between the two key members, Denso is expected to have a majority stake.
Aiming to take up the competitiveness of the Toyota group a notch higher, this partnership targets to primarily supply Toyota but also extend its reach to other European, the U.S. and Chinese automakers.
This mega project is expected to start off soon and once when completed, it will enable cars to shift lanes in roads and expressways without any human intervention. Toyota plans to introduce this new line of self-driving cars in its Lexus luxury brand models as early as 2020. With plans to further enhance this technology by the middle of the next decade, the company has also stated that level 4 automaton technology would be incorporated in the next models of the self-driving cars, enabling them to function on ordinary roads.
For this project to take wings as early as possible, Toyota has opened a subsidiary in Silicon Valley that is dedicated to developing and enhancing artificial intelligence in 2016. Another subsidiary was recently set up under Denso and Aisin this March, that aims at developing appropriate software for implementing AI technologies in cars.