Toyota Research Institute recruits entire company of engineers

March 10th, 2016 by

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Toyota Research Institute absorbs Jaybridge

The staff of a Massachusetts autonomous vehicle development’s company was recruited this week to work for Toyota Research Institute.

Toyota didn’t buy the company, but it managed to recruit each of the 16 employees, including hardware and software engineers, to work on projects related to reducing traffic fatalities.

Jaybridge is a seven-year-old company that comes from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It will continue to operate as part of Toyota Corporation. The TRI has 40 employees, the majority of whom are Stanford and MIT graduates.

Gill Pratt, former program manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and MIT professor is the lead engineer at TRI. He said,

“The Jaybridge group brings decades of experience developing, testing, and supporting autonomous vehicle products which perfectly complements the world-class research team at TRI.”

Toyota Research Institute’s recruiting methods are the new normal

Robotics and software engineering professionals specializing in the vehicle autonomy are in high demand. Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk recruited for his program using his social media connections, including his 2 million Twitter followers.

In December, GM bought the assets of Sidecar, a ride sharing company and hired its 20 employees to work in the GM Silicon Valley office.

Uber hired a large portion of Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science professors last year, sending the dean into a tailspin over how to quickly re-hire enough staff to make up for those that left. The school then adjusted its teaching contracts to allow professors to leave for extended amounts of time to pursue other career options, in the hopes that they will return to the school some time in the future.

Andrew Moore, former Google Inc. engineering vice president and current dean of CMU said,

“There is definitely a world-wide battle for talent. In the computer science world right now, administrators and leadership are becoming more like recruiters for high-powered sports teams or executives.”

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