Carmaker Toyota is pursuing advanced technology in pursuit of electric-vehicle battery cost cuts. The move follow’s Tesla’s acquisition of Grohmann Engineering last year, which gave Elon Musk’s firm access to automation technology that could cut manufacturing costs. Toyota’s AI-based approach, being led by the Toyota Research Institute (TRI) with offices in Palo Alto, Calif., Ann Arbor, Mich., and Cambridge, Mass., is more focused on primary research.
“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,” said Eric Krotkov, chief science officer at TRI. “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.”