Toyota is the latest Fortune 500 company to launch an AI focused venture capital fund. The initial early-stage fund will deploy $100 million and operate as a subsidiary of the Toyota Research Institute. The automaker has strategically positioned itself as an ROI rather than strategic-focused fund — meaning that it aims to profit like any other VC firm.
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While the US waits to get Super Cruise in Cadillacs next year, Toyota has already rolled out a pretty robust V2V, or vehicle-to-vehicle, system in three models available in Japan. The latest version of the Prius, the Lexus RX, and the Toyota Crown, a luxury sedan sold in Japan, all have the ITS Connect system available as an option.
The cars communicate using a channel abandoned by analog TV transmissions when they switched to digital a few years ago. The cars send and receive very simple–but very useful–information: location, speed, and heading. “People ask about privacy” regarding these communications said Toyota spokesperson Hideki Hada in a phone interview, “but this is very obvious information.”
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