Toyota teams with Stanford to develop cars with artificial intelligence

PALO ALTO, Calif. (KTVU) -- On Friday, Toyota announced it will invest $50 million over the next five years in a partnership with Stanford and MIT to investigate how best to incorporate artificial intelligence into the cars of the future.

But the goal won't be to develop a car that drives without you, but rather one that makes your driving better.

"Why work with the universities? Because that's where the best ideas are," said Dr. Gill Pratt of Toyota.

Toyota is already working on what the car of the future might look like and has prototypes of all sorts. But what they envision isn't completely self-driving. They picture a partnership between man and machine.

"So the person feels that they're in control and, only when it's necessary, does the machine say, 'Oh, I better take over just a little bit here to make sure you don't have an accident,'" says Pratt.

Some ideas being tossed around: cars that sense your mood or how tired you are, and offer a pick-me up with massage and music.

Or perhaps one smart enough to anticipate the moves of a drunk driver in front of you.

The goal is making the roads safer

"It's going to be a disruptive technology in our society and human lives and we'll be addressing this together," says Fei-Fei Li, Associate Professor at Stanford.

They say technology has made great strides in just the last few years, allowing cars to see and sense what's around them.

But they say there's still a long road ahead.

"The reason it's important to do now, is because it's possible to do now. And we have a big problem to solve," says Pratt.

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