Preferred Networks (PFN), a Japanese software development company that focuses to apply real-time machine learning technologies, has raised $95.4 million from automotive manufacturer Toyota. The duo aim to conduct joint research and development of artificial intelligence technologies in mobility-related fields, such as automated driving technology. Toyota will also acquire stock in PFN through the allocation of new shares to a third party. With this funding, PFN plans to enhance the computational environment and accelerate talent acquisition. Toyota and PFN have been working on joint research and development since October 2014, and Toyota has previously invested about $9 million in PFN in December 2015 strengthen their relationship. To date, their work has focused on object-recognition technology and analysis technology of vehicle information. Founded in March 2014, PFN aims for business utilization of deep learning technology focused on IoT. It develops and provides Chainer, and open source deep learning framework, and solutions based on the Deep Intelligence in Motion (DIMo) platform that provides deep learning technology. Toyota has been investing heavily on researching and developing a wide range of technologies, including automated driving technologies that are expected to significantly affect the nature of mobility in the future. With PFN’s machine learning, deep learning, and big data processing capabilities, it has surely bagged an edge. Last month, Toyota AI Ventures had also invested in Nauto, an autonomous vehicle technology company which makes artificial intelligence-powered system and data platform for fleet safety and self-driving technology.
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