Toyota Invests Over $100 Million in CollaborativResearch Program With Universities

Toyota North America ranked No. 4 on the Fair360, formerly DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list in 2023.


Toyota Research Institute (TRI) has funded over $100 million of research with universities in the U.S. since its inception in 2016. The collaborative research program is the largest by an automotive company in the world.

The funding supports projects, each one consisting of a TRI researcher and a team from a university. The program expanded in 2022 to include 21 university partners, including MIT, Stanford and Columbia.

“TRI’s collaborations with universities bring a wealth of knowledge and new ideas to our research efforts,” said Brian Storey, Senior Director of Energy and Materials at the institute. “This program both helps us create innovative technologies and fosters the next generation of innovative leaders.”

The funding has also allowed for the generation of over 1250 paper submissions, three of which won awards at the Robotics: Science and Systems Conference (RSS) last year alone.

“We are deeply satisfied with the results of our partnerships with this outstanding group of institutions and researchers,” said Eric Krotkov, leader of the university research program. “We believe that collaboration is the key to tackling society’s biggest challenges and are confident that this program will continue to achieve new breakthroughs.”

The 61 projects focus on energy and materials, human-centered artificial intelligence, human interactive driving, machine learning and robotics.

“I believe our project is an exemplar of how TRI combines industry and academic knowledge, expertise and capabilities to develop solutions that ultimately lead to real-world impact,” said Professor Ilya Kolmanovsky, who led a research team at the University of Michigan to develop a governor architecture that could be used to speed up the execution time of a model predictive control (MPC) control system solution. This project helped create a solution used by Toyota Motors, solving a vehicle controller problem where sudden changes to setpoints would cause unresponsiveness.

Read more about the projects at