Toyota Research Institute Hunts for New Materials

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March 31 , 2017—The Toyota Research Institute (TRI) will invest $35 million over the next four years in research that uses artificial intelligence to help accelerate the design and discovery of advanced materials. Initially, the program will aim to help revolutionize materials and identify new advanced battery materials and fuel cell catalysts that can power future zero-emissions and carbon-neutral vehicles.

“Toyota recognizes that artificial intelligence is a 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,” said Eric Krotkov, chief science officer. “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.”

Initial research project include collaborations with Stanford University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Michigan, The University at Buffalo, the University of Connecticut, and the U.K.-based materials science company IIika.

TRI will partner on projects focused on areas including:

  • The development of new models and materials for batteries and fuel cells
  • Broader programs to pursue novel uses of machine learning, artificial intelligence and materials informatics approaches for the design and development new materials
  • New automated materials discovery systems that integrate simulation, machine learning, artificial intelligence and/or robotics.

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