Toyota's US robotics boss promises results within 5 years

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Toyota Motor Corp.'s Executive Technical Advisor Gill Pratt, left, and President Akio Toyoda, right, shake hands during a press conference on artificial intelligence in Tokyo.

Toyota Motor Corp.'s Executive Technical Advisor Gill Pratt, left, and President Akio Toyoda, right, shake hands during a press conference on artificial intelligence in Tokyo. (Photo: Eugene Hoshiko)

The U.S. robotics expert tapped to head Toyota's Silicon Valley research company says the $1 billion investment by the giant Japanese automaker will start showing results within five years.

Gill Pratt told reporters that the Toyota Research Institute is also looking ahead into the distant future when there will be cars that anyone, including children and the elderly, can ride in, as well as robots that help out in homes.

Pratt, a former program manager at the U.S. military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, joined Toyota Motor Corp. first as a technical adviser when it set up its artificial intelligence research effort at Stanford University and MIT.

He said safety features will be the first types of AI applications to appear in Toyota vehicles.

-AP

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