Electronics and Semiconductors

Toyota to invest $100 million in self-driving and robotic startups

03 May 2019
May Mobility is one of the company's Toyota invested in previously. The company is working on autonomous service shuttles. Source: May Mobility

Toyota AI Ventures (TAIV), the venture capital firm of Toyota Motors, has created a new $100 million fund to invest in startups focused on robotics and autonomous driving.

The fund will help the startups chosen to provide ongoing support and resources such as assistance with product-market fit and an opportunity to connect with Toyota’s global network.

Previously, Toyota invested in 19 startups including Elementary Robotics, which is developing robotics platforms for automating everyday tasks; Intuition Robotics, which is creating social companion technologies using artificial intelligence; Joby Aviation, which is building flying electric cars for a passenger aircraft service; May Robotics, a startup building a Level 4 self-driving shuttle service; and Sea Machines, a maritime startup building autonomous control and navigation systems.

"Auto manufacturers must participate in the startup ecosystem to stay ahead of the rapid shift in the auto industry," said Jim Adler, managing director of TAIV. "Investing in startups creates long-term relationships that help Toyota explore the latest innovations in mobility."

With the second funding of startups, the firm’s total assets will push to more than $200 million.

To contact the author of this article, email PBrown@globalspec.com

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