How Toyota’s Investment in Artificial Intelligence Is Creating Cheaper Batteries

Posted Monday, Apr 17, 2017 by North Hollywood Toyota

The last decade has been an exciting time for automotive technology. We’ve seen so many advancements and increases in the type and number of gadgets that come in the standard family car that, when we look back on what was considered standard just ten years ago, it can seem incredibly primitive.

The rapid development of electric vehicles, in particular, is one of the biggest indicators of how far the car industry has come; and the innovation in electrical vehicles isn’t going to come to a stop anytime soon.

Recently, Toyota detailed its plans to invest in artificial intelligence as a means to cut costs and increase the power of its electrical car batteries and fuel cells. How can artificial intelligence be used to make better car batteries? Read on to learn more.

Improving Electrical Car Performance

As the name implies, The Toyota Research Institute, or TRI, is the organization responsible for performing the Toyota company’s in-depth technological research, which will be used to create the next generations of Toyota cars and trucks.

In particular, TRI (which has offices in Palo Alto, California; Ann Arbor, Michigan; and Cambridge, Massachusetts) is focusing on primary research into artificial intelligence and how AI can be used to improve vehicle production and performance in ways that the human brain alone cannot achieve.

One of TRI’s biggest projects at the moment, which is being funded by an investment of $35 million over four years, is putting AI to work in determining new ways to improve the way electric car batteries are built. According to Eric Krotkov, TRI’s chief science officer:

“With materials problems in general, you have many variables you can control—not only in the fundamental compounds that you select but also how you structure and manufacture the material … All these choices impact ultimate performance. We aim to use AI to guide researchers through the infinite numbers of possibilities and to optimize for performance in a complex, high-dimensional space.”

In other words, TRI is using artificial intelligence—with its incredible ability to accurately process incredible amounts of data—to point Toyota’s technicians in production directions that they would not be able to come up with themselves; not without years or decades of time-consuming and expensive experimentation and trial and error, anyway.

Ideally, the use of AI to guide the manufacturing process for electric car batteries will drastically reduce the time it takes to discover better ways to produce batteries, and the time it takes to apply these discoveries to the company’s product.

Thanks to artificial intelligence, Toyota will be able to bring better performing, longer lasting electrical car batteries to market in much shorter periods of time than could be accomplished without the use of AI. If you thought automotive technology advancements were coming quickly before, you haven’t seen anything yet.

Want to learn more about Toyota cars, trucks, and SUVs? Stop by our Los Angeles Toyota dealership today, or give us a call at 800-800-6730.