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Toyota Teams With MIT Media Lab On Mobility EcoSystem

Toyota says its new partnership with the MIT Media Lab will accelerate the development of autonomous driving technology.

Toyota and the MIT Media Lab (MIT ML) announced a new collaboration this week aimed at accelerating the development of autonomous driving technology data acquisition.

The Toyota Research Institute, TRI, is led by Dr. Gill Pratt and already located at the MIT campus. TRI will work with MIT ML on blockchain and distributed ledger technology (BC/DL). The technology is part of how data will be acquired and safely protected. Toyota explained it this way:
"Blockchain technology sends information over a network of independent computers, known as a distributed ledger, intended to ensure that the transaction is secure and ownership rights over the data/property are protected. TRI believes blockchain may create transparency and trust among users, reduce risk of fraud and reduction or elimination of transaction costs, such as fees or surcharges applied by third party institutions."

TRI is working with multiple manufacturers and industry groups to form a consortium that will look at three areas of data acquisition for autonomous vehicle development and deployment. The three are; Driving/Testing Data Sharing, Car/Ride Share Transactions, and Usage-Based Insurance.

Neha Narula, Director, Digital Currency Initiative at the MIT Media Lab commented on the new partnership, saying, “I'm excited Toyota is spearheading this initiative that uses blockchain technology to create an open platform where users can control their driving data. Our hope is that other industry stakeholders will join this effort to bring safe and reliable autonomous vehicles one step closer to reality.”