(Bloomberg) -- Toyota Motor Corp. wants to smooth the oft-bumpy ride for startup companies and maybe find a few gems to acquire by forming a new venture capital business.

Armed with an initial $100 million to invest, Toyota AI Ventures will seek companies that are taking on challenging research also being pursued by Toyota Research Institute, the carmaker’s artificial intelligence and robotics R&D unit. The first three companies to receive financing are a maker of cameras that monitor drivers and roads, a creator of autonomous car-mapping algorithms and a developer of robotic companions for the elderly.

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