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Automakers Go Back to School to Learn to Build Self-Driving Cars

Ford, Volkswagen and Toyota are funding artificial intelligence research at the University of California at Berkeley
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How Long Until Driverless Cars Go Mainstream?

Automakers didn't build the self-driving car: Google did. That's a big problem for them. Hoping to catch up, Ford, Toyota, and Volkswagen are betting on academics. Along with Nvidia, Samsung, Qualcomm and Panasonic, they're each giving $300,000 to the University of California at Berkeley to fund artificial intelligence research.

The alliance, called DeepDrive, is a rare moment of AI cooperation among car companies, which are racing one another to create the kind of brains that propel Google's prototype gumdrop-shaped vehicles around Mountain View. It also highlights the new position universities find themselves in. Their AI lab work is in high demand-- and corporations don't want to wait months or years to get their hands on it.