Toyota has announced the creation of a joint venture (JV) which will focus on the research and development of self-driving technologies.

On Friday, the Toyota City, Japan-based firm said in a release that the JV will receive investment of over 300 billion yen, or roughly $2.8 billion.

The venture, named Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development (TRI-AD), will be formed by the automaker and partner suppliers Aisin Seiki Co. and Denso Corporation.

The three companies are yet to form a concrete joint venture agreement, but all agree that the JV will accelerate the R&D of “fully-integrated, production-quality software for automated driving.”

James Kuffner, chief technology officer of the Toyota Research Institute (TRI), will lead TRI-AD as CEO.

The JV will be based in Tokyo and will focus heavily on external recruitment with the English language as a prerogative in the hiring of at least 1,000 new employees.

“Building production-quality software is a critical success factor for Toyota’s automated driving program,” said Kuffner. “This company’s mission is to accelerate software development in a more effective and disruptive way, by augmenting the Toyota Group’s capability through the hiring of world-class software engineers. We will recruit globally, and I am thrilled to lead this effort.”

At CES 2018, Toyota debuted a third-generation self-driving car platform. Currently being tested with a Lexus as the base, the car includes a LIDAR array, 360-degree vision, and “Guardian,” the…

[SOURCE]