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[Translation from English to Japanese ] Toyota launches $111m fund for startups working on AI, robotics, and hydrogen...

Original Texts
Toyota launches $111m fund for startups working on AI, robotics, and hydrogen power

Toyota, the world’s largest automaker, announced overnight a JPY 13.5 billion (US$111 million) investment fund for startups developing advanced automotive technologies. The new fund is a collaboration between Toyota and two financial institutions: Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) and asset management company Sparx Group. The fund is named “Mirai Creation Investment Limited Partnership,” a hat tip to Toyota’s hydrogen-cell vehicle – which went on sale October 21 – and the Japanese word for “future.”
According to a Kyodo report, Toyota is contributing JPY 10 billion (US$82.3 million), SMBC JPY 3.3 billion (US$27.2 million), and Sparx Group the remaining JPY 200 million (US$1.6 million). Sparx Group will act as the fund’s general partner.

A Toyota press release states that target investment areas include artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and “technologies related to the production, supply, and use of hydrogen.” While the firm didn’t directly mention autonomous driving, AI and robotics are core technologies related to self-driving cars.
Toyota pioneered modern hybrid vehicles with the ubiquitous Prius, but the automaker lags behind both domestic and foreign rivals when it comes to fully-electric vehicles. It may also be falling behind in terms of autonomous driving technology. At this year’s Tokyo Motor Show (which is still underway), Toyota showed off the latest Mirai and a futuristic hydrogen-powered vehicle called the FCV Plus. It’s clear that the company sees hydrogen cells, not batteries, as the next big thing in green automotive – and has even said as much publicly. Toyota claims that current battery technology doesn’t provide enough distance per charge, and that the materials they’re made of limit “energy density” – you can only cram so much power per battery and so many batteries per vehicle.

The firm began testing a semi-autonomous Lexus last month, but says it has no plans to completely replace the driver (it’s calling the technology “Highway Teammate”). Toyota didn’t have much self-driving tech to show off at the motor show.

Nissan this week announced that it would bring semi-autonomous vehicles to market by the end of 2016. It’s currently testing a self-driving version of its all-electric car, the Leaf, on public roads and highways in the greater Tokyo area. US-based Tesla recently updated some of its existing electric vehicles with semi-autonomous capabilities.
The fund – which Toyota hopes to increase in size to JPY 50 billion (US$411 million) by next March, with the inclusion of new investment partners – will likely be used to address the automaker’s slow progress with autonomous driving technology. More importantly for Toyota, it could also further solidify its position as a global market leader for hydrogen power.

We’ve reached out to Toyota and will update this post if we get a reply.

Will batteries or hydrogen fuel cells power the next generation of automobiles? Could Tesla someday challenge a force like Toyota on a global scale? Let us know what you think below.
Translated by yokokh2015


今年の東京モーターショー(まだ開催中)で、トヨタは最新型の「Mirai(ミライ)」と未来の水素エネルギー車の「FCV Plus」を堂々と出展した。トヨタが、エコカーの次のブームは、蓄電池ではなく水素燃料電池だと見ていることは確実で、それを公然と述べている。トヨタは現行の蓄電池技術では、給電一回につき十分な走行距離を提供出来ない上、それを作る材料が「エネルギー密度」を限定するとし、一回の給電で蓄積できる電力には限りがあり、一台の車に搭載できる蓄電池の数にも限りがある、と主張する。
同社は先月、半自動運転のレクサスの試験を開始したが、運転手を完全に無くす計画は無いと話している(この技術を「Highway Teammate」と呼ぶ)。トヨタが今年の東京モーターショーで、自動運転技術をお披露目することはあまりなかった。

今週、日産自動車は2016年末までに半自動運転車を日本市場に導入する予定だと発表した。現在、電気自動車「Leaf (日産リーフ)」の自動運転版のテスト走行が、一般道と首都圏の高速道路で行われている。アメリカに拠点を置くTeslaは最近、現存する半自動運転装備の電気自動車について、いくつかの機能更新を行った。



Result of Translation in Conyac

Number of Characters of Requests:
Translation Language
English → Japanese
Translation Fee
Translation Time
about 18 hours
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