The Toyota Research Institute has committed to giving $22 million to advance research on artificial intelligence, robotics and autonomous driving at the University of Michigan.

The money will be spent over four years and the work will be directed by robotics professors Ryan Eustice and Ed Olson, both of whom will retain their part-time faculty positions.

This is the latest step in an emerging private-public effort to establish southeast Michigan and Ann Arbor, the home of the university, as a major hub for development of new modes of mobility and in-home robotics designed to help older citizens.

A year ago, Mcity, a 32-acre simulated city and facility, opened on the university’s north campus, where a variety of automakers, suppliers and telecommunications companies are testing autonomous vehicle systems in a controlled environment.

Toyota, along with General Motors, Ford, Nissan and Honda, is a founding partner in the university’s Mobility Transformation Center, which oversees Mcity.

(Next page: What university officials say about the efforts)

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Laura Ascione

Laura Ascione is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. When she isn't wrangling her two children, Laura enjoys running, photography, home improvement, and rooting for the Terps. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura

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