Honda’s new AI lab to centralize its efforts to commercialize the tech in Tokyo

Honda has a new AI research center, which will begin operation early next year and centralize its R&D efforts in the field. The new center will bring together Honda’s AI teams distributed across Silicon Valley, Europe and Japan in a single location in downtown Tokyo, according to Bloomberg. The consolidation is part of Honda’s plan to begin bridging AI products to market, including cars with emotional perception, as it races to keep pace with competitors including Toyota.

The decision to move operations in this field primarily to Tokyo is partly about making sure they’re close to Honda’s automotive¬†operations as it moves further toward self-driving tech, and also a bet on Japan’s own AI expertise, which Honda thinks can compete with the likes of Silicon Valley, according to the Bloomberg report.

AI research is being pursued by almost every major technology company operating right now, and that includes carmakers. Making a concerted effort to commercialize it and make it something that will impact a consumer’s buying decision in the near future is a wise move by anyone serious about becoming a player in this space.