The U-M/Toyota Research Institute Partnership


Toyota Research Institute (“TRI”) entered into a research partnership with the University of Michigan. The TRI/UM partnership undertakes research in four thrusts: Autonomous Driving, Enhanced Automotive Safety, Indoor Mobility, and Accelerated Materials Design and Discovery.

TRI established an Ann Arbor office in 2016 because of the broad strengths of the university and the region, particularly in areas related to the emergence of high-level driver-assist systems, eventually leading to fully autonomous vehicles. TRI will also be near two well-established Toyota Technical Center campuses.

The partnership builds on Toyota’s strong and active presence in the Ann Arbor community. The two local Toyota Technical Centers have long worked with U-M on safety research. Toyota is a founding partner of UM’s Mcity, an interdisciplinary public-private research and development initiative that is developing the foundation for a commercially viable ecosystem of connected and automated vehicles.

Every year, TRI invites proposals from UM in the areas of machine intelligence applied to robotics, self driving cars, and automative safety. The research projects and faculty engaged in the TRI/UM partnership are listed below.

Learn more about the partnership agreement between UM and TRI.

Research Projects

Faculty Partners



Current Research

Click each button to read the project proposal summaries.


Completed Research

Click each button to read the project proposal summaries.

Partner Feedback

On funding for the Toyota Professorship in Artificial Intelligence:

“We are honored to fund this important new professorship," said Dr. Gill Pratt, Toyota Research Institute CEO and Toyota Motor Corporation Fellow. "AI is an extremely important tool in our toolbox and the University of Michigan is one of our most important collaborators in our joint quest to bring to market a car incapable of causing a crash."

Dr. Gill Pratt, Toyota Research Institute CEO and Toyota Motor Corporation Fellow

On his dual role in academia and industry:

“I get to live in both worlds and share what I know about what’s cutting edge and serve as a mentor and guide in the next frontier. I also have a lot of perspective in how industry operates, what the pace is like, and what research looks like thanks to this dual academic and corporate experience. I can easily speak to students about both."

Ryan Eustice, Associate Professor, College of Engineering and Senior Vice President of Automated Driving at TRI

On Industry Funding for Girls Encoded:

"The benefit of having companies involved is that it shows students what they can do if they choose a career in CS. The challenge becomes one of investment. If we really want the needle to change in terms of diversity in the computer science field, it takes a lot of effort. It’s all hands on deck."

Rada Mihalcea, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Steering Committee

Norikazu (Jack) Endo

Senior Executive, Development of Artificial Intelligence into Automated Driving System and Connected Vehicle System, 
Toyota Research Institute

Gill Pratt

Chief Executive Officer of Toyota Research Institute (TRI) and a Fellow of Toyota Motor Corporation

Jessy W. Grizzle

Elmer G. Gilbert Distinguished University Professor Jerry W. and Carol L. Levin Professor of Engineering, Director of Robotics

Satinder Singh

Toyota Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Professor, Computer Science & Engineering


Umesh Patel

Senior Director, U-M Business Engagement Center

Theresa Lempka

Associate Director, Corporate and Foundation Relations, U-M College of Engineering


Associate Professor, Computer and Information Science

Shan Bao

Associate Research Scientist, UMTRI Human Factors Group

Nichola Banovic

Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Dmitry Berenson

Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Mihai Burzo

Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering, UM-Flint

Jason J. Corso

Associate Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

David W. Eby

Research Professor and Head of UMTRI Behavioral Sciences Group

Tulga Ersal

Associate Research Scientist, Mechanical Engineering

Fred Feng

Assistant Professor, Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering, UM-Dearborn

Brent Gillespie

Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Bruno J. Giordani

Professor, Neuropsychology

Sharon Glotzer

Anthony C. Lembke Department Chair of Chemical Engineering and John Werner Cahn Distinguished University Professor of Engineering

Rich Gonzalez

Director, Research Center for Group Dynamics and BioSocial Methods Collaborative, ISR; Professor of Psychology, Statistics and Marketing

Brent Griffin

Assistant Research Scientist, Electrical Engineering and Robotics

Jessy W. Grizzle

Elmer G. Gilbert Distinguished University Professor Jerry W. and Carol L. Levin Professor of Engineering Director of Robotics

Robert C. Hampshire

Assistant Research Professor, UMTRI Human Factors group

Jean-Baptiste Jeannin

Assistant Professor, Aerospace Engineering

Ilya Kolmanovsky

Professor, Aerospace Engineering

Matthew Kay

Assistant Professor, School of Information

Walter Lasecki

Assistant Professor, Computer Science & Engineering and Director, CROMA Lab

David J. LeBlanc

Associate Research Scientist, UMTRI

Wei Lu

Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Brian Lin

Research Fellow, UMTRI’s Human Factors Group

Rada Mihalcea

Professor, Computer Science and Engineering

Lisa J. Molnar

Associate Research Scientist in UMTRI’s Behavioral Sciences Group

Emily Mower Provost

Associate Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Yi Murphey

Professor and Associate Dean of Graduate Education and Research, UM-Dearborn

XuanLong Nguyen

Associate Professor of Statistics; Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Necmiye Ozay

Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Dimitra Panagou

Assistant Professor, Aerospace Engineering

Huei Peng

Roger L. McCarthy Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Director of Mcity

Anuj Kumar Pradhan

Assistant Research Scientist, UMTRI Human Factors Group

Lionel Robert

Associate Professor, Information

Nadine Sarter

Director, Center for Ergonomics and COHSE Occupational Safety Engineering and Ergonomics Program and Professor, Industrial and Operations Engineering and Robotics

James R. Sayer

Director, UMTRI and Research Scientist, Human Factors Group

Satinder Singh

Professor, Computer Science & Engineering, AI-Lab Director

Jeffrey Stein

Professor, Mechanical Engineering and Associate Director, Automotive Research Center

John M. Sullivan

Associate Research Scientist and Head of UMTRI Human Factors Group

Dawn Tilbury

Professor, Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering & Computer Science

Thomas F. Wenisch

Associate Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Jessie Yang

Assistant Professor, Industrial & Operations Engineering

Shaobing Xu

Postdoctoral Research Fellow of Mechanical Engineering & Mcity

Zhengya Zhang

Associate Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Sze Zheng Yong

Assistant Professor, Information

Ding Zhao

Assistant Research Scientist, Mechanical Engineering

Ryan Eustice

Vice President of Autonomous Driving at the Toyota Research Institute and Professor, Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Mechanical Engineering

Johann Gagnon-Bartsch

Assistant Professor, Department of Statistics

Richard Frazin

Associate Research Scientist ofClimate and Space Sciences and Engineering



  1. Abhishek, A., Sood, H., Jeannin, J. 2020. “Formal Verification of Braking while Swerving in Automobiles.” HSCC’20.
  2. Florence, V., Corso, J., Griffin, B. 2020. “Robot-Supervised Learning for Object Segmentation.” IRCA 2020.
  3. Gan, L., Zhang, R., Grizzle, J., Eustice, R., Ghaffari, M. 2020. “Bayesian Spatial Kernel Smoothing for Scalable Dense Semantic Mapping.” IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters.
  4. Griffin, B., Florence, V., Corso, J. 2019. “Video Object Segmentation-based Visual Servo Control and Object Depth Estimation on a Mobile Robot.” IEEE Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV) 2020.
  5. Jaiswal, M., Mower Provost, E. 2019. “Privacy Enhanced Multimodal Neural Representations for Emotion Recognition.” Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI 2020).
  6. McConachie, D., Power, T., Mitrano, P., Berenson, D. 2020. “Learning When to Trust a Dynamics Model for Planning in Reduced State Spaces.” IEEE-RAL and ICRA.
  7. Mower Provost, E., et al. 2020. “MuSE: a Multimodal dataset of Stressed Emotion.” International Conference on Language Resources (LREC 2020).


  1. Aldeneh, Z., Jaiswal, M., Picheny, M., McInnis, M., Mower Provost, M. 2019. “Identifying Mood Episodes Using Dialogue Features from Clinical Interviews”. Interspeech.
  2. Bruder, D., Gillespie, B., Remy, C.D., Vasudevan, R. “Modeling and Control and Soft Robots Using the Koopman Operator and Model Predictive Control”. 2019. 2019 Robotics Science and Systems Conference.
  3. Cao, Z., Xu, S., Peng, H., Yang, D., Li, B., Feng, S., Zhao, D. 2019. “Highway Exiting Planner for Automated Vehicles Using Reinforcement Learning.” IEEE transactions on ITS.
  4. Castillo, G., Weng, B., Hereid H., Zhang, W. “Reinforcement Learning Meets Hybrid Zero Dynamics: Towards Model-Free Control for Bipedal Walking.” IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation  ICRA 2019.
  5. Chen,Y., Hereid, A., Peng, H., Grizzle, J. 2019. “Synthesis of safe controller via supervised learning for truck lateral control.” IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology.
  6. Chipade, V.S., Shen, Q., Huang, L., Ozay, N., Yong, S.Z., Panagou, D., “Safe Autonomous Overtaking with Intention Estimation”, Proc. European Control Conference (ECC), Napoli, Italy, June 2019.
  7. Grizzle, J. 2019. “Contact-Aided Invariant Extended Kalman Filtering for Robot State Estimation.” International Journal of Robotics Research.
  8. Grizzle, J. “Feedback Control of a Cassie Bipedal Robot: Walking, Standing, and Riding a Segway.” American Control Conference 2019.
  9. Hassaan, S., Shen, Q., Yong, S. 2019. “Bounded-Error Estimator Design with Missing Data Patterns via State Augmentation.” American Control Conference 2019.
  10. Hereid, A., Harib, O., Hartley, R.,Gong, Y, Grizzle, J. “Rapid Trajectory Optimization Using C-FROST with Illustration on a Cassie-Series Dynamic Walking Biped”. 2019 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2019).
  11. Jadidi, M.G., Clark, W., Bloch, A., Eustice, R., Grizzle, J. “Continuous Direct Sparse Visual Odometry from RGB-D Images”. 2019. 2019 Robotics Science and Systems Conference.
  12. Jaiswal, M., Aldeneh, Z., Mower Provost, E. 2019. “Controlling for Confounders in Multimodal Emotion Classification via Adversarial Learning.” ICMI 2019. 
  13. Jaiswal, M., Aldeneh, Z., Bara, C., Luo, Y., Burzo, M., Mihalcea, R., Mower Provost, E. 2019. “Muse-ing on the Impact of Utterance Ordering on Croudsourced Emotion Annotations.” International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing, ICASSP 2019.
  14. Jayaraman, S., Creech, C., Tilbury, D., Yang, X., Pradhan, A., Tsui, K., Robert, L. 2019. “Pedestrian Trust in Automated Vehicles: Role of Traffic Signal and AV Driving Behavior.” Frontiers: Robotics and AI.
  15. Lasecki, W., Corso, J., et al. 2019. “Popup: Reconstructing 3D Video Using Particle Filtering to Aggregate Crowd Responses.” Intelligent User Interface (IUI) 2019.
  16. Niu, R., Shen, Q., Yong, S.Z. 2019. “Partition-Based Parametric Active Model Discrimination Design withApplications to Driver Intention Estimation.” European Control Conference.
  17. Peng,X., Murphey, Y., Stent, S., Li,Y., Zhao, Z.“Spatial focal loss for pedestrian detection in fisheye imagery.” IEEE Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision, January, 2019.
  18. Prince, A., Jin, L., Berenson, D. 2020. “Inferring Occluded Geometry Improves Performance when Retrieving an Object from Dense Clutter.” ISRR 2019.
  19. Rutledge, K., Yong, S.Z., and Ozay, N.“Prefix-based Bounded-error Estimation with Intermittent Observations”. American Control Conference. 2019.
  20. Sahin, Y. E., Liu, Z., Rutledge, K.J., Panagou, D., Yong, S. Z., Ozay, N. “Intention-Aware Supervisory Control with Driving Safety Applications”, Proc. IEEE Conference on Control Technology and Applications (CCTA), Hong Kong, China, August 2019.
  21. Saund, B., Choudhury, S., Srinivasa, S., Berenson, D. 2019. “The Blindfolded Robot : A Bayesian Approach to Planning with Contact Feedback.” ISRR 2019.
  22. Shen, Q., Yong, S. “Robust Optimization-Based Affine Abstractions for Uncertain Affine Dynamics.“ American Control Conference 2019.
  23. Wurts, J., Stein, J., Ersal, T. “Minimum Slip Collision Imminent Steering in Curved Roads Using Nonlinear Model Predictive Control.” American Controls Conference 2019.
  24. Zhang, B., Khorram, S., Mower Provost, E. “Exploiting Acoustic and Lexical Properties of Phenomes to Recongize Valence from Speech.” International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing, ICASSP 2019.\
  25. Zhang, B., Kong, Y., Essl, G., Mower Provost, E. 2019. “f-Similarity Preservation Loss for Soft Labels: A Demonstration on Cross-Corpus Speech Emotion Recognition.” Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) Conference 2019.


  1. Bruder, D.,Sedal, A., Vasudevan, R., Remy, C.D. “Force Generation by Parallel Combinations of Fiber-Reinforced Fluid-Driven Actuators.” 2018. IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters.
  2. Chou, G., Sahin,Y. E., Yang, L., Rutledge,K. J., Nilsson, P., Ozay, N. “Using control synthesis to generate corner cases: A case study on autonomous driving.”2018. EEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems and EMSOFT 2018.
  3. Cutlip, S., Bhardwaj, A., Watts, L., Gillespie, R.B. 2018. “The Effects of Transition Type and Haptic Feedback on Shared Control of a Simulated Vehicle”. Haptic Symposium 2018.
  4. Ding, Y., Harirchi, F., Yong, S.Z., Jacobsen, E., Ozay, N. 2018. “Optimal Input Design for Affine Model Discrimination with Applications in Intention-Aware Vehicles”. International Conference on Cyber-Physical Systems 2018.
  5. Hartley, Rl, Jadidi, M.G., Grizzle, J., Eustice, R. “Contact-Aided Invariant Extended Kalman Filter for Legged Robot State Estimation”. RSS 2018.
  6. Feng, F., Bao, S., Hampshire, R., and Delp, M. 2018. “Drivers Overtaking Bicyclists – An Examination Using Naturalistic Driving Data”. Accident Analysis & Prevention. 115 (2018). 98-109. DOI: 10.1016/j.aap.2018.03.010.
  7. Han, D., Huang, L., Panagou, D. 2018.”Approximating the Region of Multi-Task Coordination via the Optimal Lyapunov-Like Barrier Function”. American Control Conference 2018.
  8. Hartley, R. “Hybrid Contact Preintegration for Visual-Inertial-Contact State Estimation within Factor Graphs.” 2018 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on  Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2018).
  9. Hartley, R., Mangelson, J. Gan, L., Ghaffari Jadidi, M., Walls, J., Eustice, R., Grizzle, J. 2018. “Legged Robot State-Estimation Through Combined Forward Kinematicand Preintegrated Contact Factors”. ICRA 2018.
  10. Huang, L., Panagou D. “Hierarchical Design of Highway Merging Controller using Navigation Vector Fields under Bounded Sensing Uncertainty”, 2018 Int. Symposium on Distributed Autonomous Robotic Systems (DARS), University of Colorado Boulder, October 2018.
  11. Jayaraman, S.K., Creech, C., Robert, L. P., Tilbury, D., Yang, X. J., Pradhan, A. and Tsui, K. 2018. “Trust in AV: An Uncertainty Reduction Model of AV-Pedestrian Interactions, Proceedings of the Companion of the 2018 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction”. Proceedings of the Companion of the 2018 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI 2018), March 5–8, 2018, Chicago, IL, USA.
  12. Khorram, S., Jaiswal, M., Gideon, J., McInnis, M., Mower Provost, E. “The PRIORI Emotion Dataset: Linking Mood to Emotion Detected In-the-Wild. Interspeech, September 2018.
  13. Li, S., Wang, W., Mo, Z., Zhao, D.”Cluster Naturalistic Driving Encounters Using Deep Unsupervised Learning”. IEEE Intelligent Vehicles Symposium, June 2018.
  14. Nilsson, P., Ozay, N. “Provably-Correct Compositional Synthesis of Vehicle Safety Systems”. Safe, Autonomous and Intelligent Vehicles, Unmanned System Technologies series. Springer. 2018.
  15. Peng, X., Liu, R., Murphey, Y.L., Stent, S., Li, Y. “Driving Maneuver Detection via Sequence Learning from Vehicle Signals and Video Images”. International Conference on Pattern Recognition, August, 2018.
  16. Rutledge, K., Yong, S.Z., and Ozay, N.“Optimization-Based Design of Bounded-Error Estimators Robust to Missing Data”. Proc. 6th IFAC Conference on Analysis and Design of Hybrid Systems (ADHS), Oxford, UK. July 2018.
  17. Saund, B., and Berenson, D. “Motion Planning for Manipulators in Unknown Environments with Contact Sensing Uncertainty”. International Symposium on Experimental Robotics (ISER). November 2018.
  18. Sedal, A., Bruder, D., Bishop-Moser, J., Vasudevan, R., Kota, S. 2018. “A Continuum Model for Fiber-Reinforced Soft Robot Actuators”. ASME JMR 2018.
  19. Singh, K., Ding, Y., Ozay, N., and Yong, S.Z. “Input Design for Nonlinear Model Discrimination via Affine Abstraction”. Proc. 6th IFAC Conference on Analysis and Design of Hybrid Systems (ADHS), Oxford, UK. July 2018.
  20. Singh, K., Shen, Q., Yong, S. 2018. “Mesh-Based Affine Abstraction of Nonlinear Systems with Tighter Bounds”. IEEE Conference on Decision and Control (CDC), December 2018.
  21. Spellings, M., Glotzer, S. C. “Machine learning for crystal identification and discovery”. AIChE J. 2018. DOI: 10.1002/aic.16157.
  22. Wan, Y., Cutlip, S., Ghasemi, A., Bardwaj, A., Gillespie, R.B., Sarter, R. 2018. “Haptic Shared Control: Improving Human-Automation Collaboration in Semiautonomous Driving”. Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineering 2018. 
  23. Wang, W., Zhao, D. 2018. “Extracting Traffic Primitives Directly from Naturalistically Logged Data for Self-Driving Applications”. ICRA 2018.
  24. Wurts, J., Stein, J., Ersal, T. 2018. “Collision Imminent Steering Using Nonlinear Model Predictive Control”. American Control Conference.
  25. Wurts, J., Stein, J., Ersal, T. 2018.”Increasing Computational Speed of Nonlinear Model Predictive Control using Analytic Gradients of the Explicit Integration Scheme with Application to Collision Imminent Steering,” IEEE Conference on Control Technology and Applications, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2018.
  26. Zheng, Z., Oh, J., Singh, S. 2018. “On Learning Intrinsic Rewards for Policy Gradient Methods”. NIPS (Neural Information Processing Systems) 2018.


  1. Creech, C., Jayaraman, S.K., Robert, L. P., Tilbury, D., Yang, X. J., Pradhan, A. and Tsui, K. 2017. Trust and Control in Autonomous Vehicle Interactions, presented at the Morality and Social Trust in Autonomous Robots workshop at the 2017 Robotics: Science and Systems (RSS 2017), Cambridge, MA.
  2. Felt, W., Chin, K.Y., and Remy, C.D. 2017. “A Closed-Form Kinematic Model for Fiber Reinforced Elastomeric Enclosures“. ASME JMR.
  3. Felt, W., Remy, C.D.. 2017. “Modeling and Design of “Smart Braid” Inductance Sensors for Fiber-Reinforced Elastomeric Enclosures“. IEEE Sensors Conference and Dissertation. 
  4. Feng, F., Bao, S., Delp, M. (accepted in 2017). “Evaluation of Drivers’ Lane Encroaching When Overtaking Bicyclists Using Naturalistic Driving Data – The Effects of Lane Marking Type, Bike Lane and Traffic”. Transportation Research Board.
  5. Hartley, R., Da, X., Grizzle, J.W. 2017. “Stabilization of 3D Underactuated Biped Robots: Using Posture Adjustment and Gait Libraries to Reject Velocity Disturbances“. IEEE Conference on Control Technology and Applications.
  6. Sedal, A., Bruder, D., Bishop-Moser, J., Vasudevan, R., Kota, S. (2018). “A Constitutive Model for Torsional Loads on Fluid-Drive Soft Robots“. ASME JMR 2017.
  7. Ushani, A.K., Wolcott, R.W., Walls, J.M., Eustice, R.M. 2017. “A Learning Approach for Real-Time Temporal Scene Flow Estimation from LIDAR Data”ICRA.
  8. Zhang, B., Essl, G., Mower Provost, E. 2017. “Predicting the Distribution of Emotion Perception: Capturing Inter-rater Variability“. ICMI. 

News and Events

Guardian/Chauffeur Autonomous Vehicle Platform Demonstration

U-M, Toyota Research Institute partner in $2.4M battery project

The Lab Making Robots Walk Through Fire and Ride Segways

U-M Prof. Puts Robot Bird Through Its Paces