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Toyota is spending $1 billion on making a car that can’t crash

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David Cornish
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Between July 2014 and June 2015, there were 180,500 casualties reported on the roads of the UK - with around 1,700 deaths. In the US, the most recent statistics suggest that 32,719 were killed on the roads in 2013. In China, the same year saw 58,316 fatalities.

While those numbers have been tumbling over the last decade, Toyota is eager to see them even lower. They took to the stage of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to announce the formation of the 'Toyota Research Institute' (TRI) - an advanced, secretive team, set to spend $1 billion (£683 million) over the next five years in a mission to build a car 'incapable of causing a crash'.

"Companies have done this before," TRI CEO Dr. Gil Pratt told Business Insider. "Bell telephone company had Bell Labs to discover ways to make telephone switch boards work better while Lockheed Martin has its Skunk Works to build secret high performance jets. We are Toyota's Skunk Works."

In addition to building a super-safe car, TRI will work on artificial intelligence and machine learning - joining the race to create a marketable self-driving car. 

There's no exact timeline for when TRI's first fruits will appear on the roads - and even when they do arrive, don't expect them to reach the UK first. "We have a tentative timeline for internal R&D products that we will work hard to deliver to Toyota in Japan," Pratt said. "Probably the public will not see the products we come out with, but the company will be able to utilize the work we do."

So until then, keep both eyes on the road and stick to the speed limits, okay?

(Image: Rex)

[Via: Business Insider]

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David Cornish

Shortlist.com’s esteemed Tech Editor. David has a keen interest in video games, Star Wars and stuff that runs on batteries.

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