The Toyota Research Institute (TRI) will collaborate with research entities, universities, and companies on materials science research, investing approximately $35 million over the next four years to help accelerate the design and discovery of advanced materials for artificial intelligence (AI).
Initially, the program will be focused on identifying new advanced battery materials and fuel cell catalysts that can power future zero-emissions and carbon neutral vehicles.
Collaborations will begin with the University of Michigan, Stanford University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University at Buffalo, the University of Connecticut, and the United Kingdom-based materials sciences company Illika. TRI is also in ongoing discussions with additional research partners.
“Toyota recognizes that AI 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,” says Eric Krotkov, TRI’s CTO. “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.”
Research will merge advanced computational materials modeling, new sources for experimental data, machine learning, and AI to reduce the time scale for new materials development, which has historically taken decades. Research programs will follow parallel paths, working to identify new materials for use in future energy systems as well as to develop tools and processes that can accelerate the design and development of new materials more broadly.
Established in 2015, TRI is a wholly owned subsidiary of Toyota Motor North America and works to strengthen the company’s research structure to enhance vehicle safety, increase access to cars, accelerate discovery, and increase indoor mobility products.