The driving community has lost the world's largest automaker as an ally.
Recently, automakers have been split between two sides: sticking to old school driving and forgoing research of autonomous cars, or switching to the dark side and dumping cash into cars that no longer need human pilots. Toyota had originally stated it didn't want to make a self-driving car because humans would always be needed to handle unanticipated situations. If the world's largest automaker was saying that, then drivers, the kind that enjoy piloting a car, could be sure that they would be protected from the robot takeover.
However, sooner or later money talks and hard resolve stemming from emotional decisions eventually caves. This is exactly what happened at Toyota because the Japanese auto giant has just bought up an entire company called Jaybridge Robotics. The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company, born out of the prestigious MIT, formed seven years ago and specializes in creating artificial intelligence software. Toyota uprooted Jaybridge Robotics' sixteen employees from Massachusetts and moved them to their $1 billion advanced projects lab based in Silicon Valley. The Jaybridge team has said that its mission is to eliminate the 1.25 million traffic fatalities that occur worldwide.
Its team will be joining a growing number of automakers and tech companies in this pursuit. We're all for saving lives, but damn it Toyota, we thought you were on the side of us drivers. Okay, how about this. Turn the gorgeous FT-1 concept (seen here) into the new production Supra and we'll call it even. We need just one more!