Photo of Gill Pratt courtesy of Toyota.

Photo of Gill Pratt courtesy of Toyota.

Toyota will invest $1 billion in the next five years to establish a research institute in Silicon Valley, Calif., to focus on artificial intelligence and robots as a way of increasing mobility and automotive safety.

The Toyota Research Institute will be based near Stanford University in Palo Alto. Toyota will also set up a second, related facility near the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. Gill Pratt, Toyota's executive technical advisor and chief executive, will oversee the institute.

The institute has set three initial goals, including improving safety by continuously decreasing the likelihood that a car will be involved in an accident; making driving accessible to everyone, regardless of ability; and applying Toyota technology used for outdoor mobility to indoor environments to support seniors.

Researchers and engineers will also work to apply their work to improve production efficiency and accelerate scientific discovery in materials, according to a release.

The investment is in addition to the $50 million Toyota has pledged to establish joint fundamental artificial intelligence research centers at each university.