After wrapping up the DARPA Robotics Challenge in 2015, Gill Pratt helped to launch the Toyota Research Institute (TRI), which is investing over a billion dollars in robotics and artificial intelligence over the next five years. As you might expect, a major focus of TRI is automotive autonomy: Toyota is just as interested as any automotive manufacturer at using autonomous systems to make cars safer, more efficient, and more pleasant to drive.
At Toyota’s CES press conference earlier this month, Pratt took the stage to address some of the challenges facing anyone working on automotive autonomy. There are many of these, and frequently, the amount of progress that the industry is making towards full autonomy is misunderstood, or even occasionally misrepresented. With that in mind, he spent a solid 20 minutes giving the audience a much needed reality check.