The MIT Technology Review has unveiled its 50 Smartest Companies list for 2016 and it includes an eclectic mix of industry giants and disruptive start-ups from across a broad range of industries. One of the biggest names to make the list was Toyota, who was widely praised for its high tech research and development efforts, particularly those aimed at boosting safety, efficiency and quality of life. Let’s take a look at what the MIT Technology Review is all about as well as some of the many reasons why Toyota was recognised this year.
Who is the MIT Technology Review?
This highly influential global media company has been reporting on issues relating to science, business and technology for 117 years. Backed by the world famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the MIT Technology Review is one of the most respected voices on technology issues globally with a reach that spans 147 countries. It describes itself as being “Committed to the beliefs that technology changes the world and is a powerful force for good in humanity.”
How are the smartest companies chosen?
Companies are chosen based on their ability to pair innovative technology with effective business models.
Toyota cracks the top 20
Toyota didn’t just make the 50 Smartest Companies list this year, it roared into the top 20, taking out position #17 ahead of a number of industry giants, including IBM, Microsoft and Alibaba. This forward-thinking company was one of only two automakers to make the list this year and was praised for its work on the Toyota Research Institute as well as for its ground-breaking hydrogen-powered Toyota Mirai.
The Toyota Research Institute
Late last year Toyota announced that it would be committing $1 billion over the next 5 years towards its newly founded Toyota Research Institute, a high tech research and development centre whose initial focus will be on artificial intelligence and robotics. While the benefits of this investment are sure to be wide-reaching, Toyota has stated its goals for the Institute as being to develop technologies that will increase driving safety, improve mobility and boost quality of life, particularly for the elderly.
The Toyota Mirai
Toyota had the automotive world buzzing earlier this year when it unveiled the world’s first mass produced hydrogen-powered vehicle. This remarkable ride offers a stunning range of 500km, refuelling takes less than 5 minutes and the only emissions produced are water vapour. Not surprisingly, the Toyota Mirai was promptly named the 2016 World Green Car of the Year at its official launch at the New York International Auto Show. Those with an eye to the future will be happy to know that Toyota has also committed to helping develop the infrastructure necessary for a widespread network of hydrogen charging facilities.
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