ANN ARBOR, Michigan — Toyota took another major step in its effort to create self-driving cars by setting up an autonomous vehicle research base in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the company announced on Thursday.
The Japanese automaker said the ultimate goal of its research effort is to create "a car that is incapable of causing a crash, regardless of the skill or condition of the driver."
This is the third research facility set up by Toyota and its university partners to speed the development of self-driving cars.
The Ann Arbor facility will focus primarily on fully autonomous driving and will work in conjunction with the University of Michigan, Toyota said.
The Toyota Research Institute facility set up last January with Stanford University will work on "guardian angel" driving, where the "driver is always engaged, but the vehicle assists as needed."
The Toyota facility in Cambridge, Massachusetts links the automaker with MIT. That facility will focus on "simulation and deep learning," Toyota said.
Toyota said its research efforts are also aimed at increasing access to cars for those who otherwise cannot drive, "including seniors and those with special needs."
The automaker also plans to create products for indoor and outdoor mobility, whether it means "moving people and goods across the country, across town or across the room," it said.
The Ann Arbor location is expected to open in June.
This is the second major self-driving car announcement this week. Google said it will expand the testing of its self-driving car fleet to Phoenix, Arizona, where the cars will be subject to desert conditions, dust and temperature extremes.
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