TOKYO -- Honda Motor will set up a research base here this year with a focus on artificial intelligence, aiming to more easily hire experts and collaborate with businesses in different sectors.
Honda R&D, the Japanese automaker's primary research and development organization, will use the new base to bolster research in fundamental technologies that can enhance Honda's competitiveness in such areas as self-driving cars and robotics. The goal is to staff the center with experts in fields like image and speech recognition, communications, software control, and deep learning.
The Tokyo AI base is expected to have a staff of more than 100.
Honda R&D now operates four centers for basic research: two sites in the U.S., one in Europe, and one in Japan's Saitama Prefecture. They work in a broad range of fields, including materials and AI-centric robotics. The new Tokyo base should help Honda secure the types of AI researchers suddenly in high demand now that the auto industry is pouring resources into developing next-generation technologies for autonomous vehicles.