Toyota Motor Corp. will increase its software engineer intake to around 40% to 50% of all technical hires from spring next year as it looks to supercharge the development of autonomous and other next-generation vehicles, company officials said Monday.

The move to increase its hiring of those with aptitude for software engineering from the current 20% comes after Toyota hired about 300 new university graduates or engineers with graduate degrees, mostly with backgrounds in mechanical engineering, to work at the company from this spring.

The automaker has said it wishes to strengthen its software development capabilities as the auto industry faces the urgent need to address a transformation to so-called CASE — connected, autonomous, shared and electric — technologies in an environment of intensifying global competition.

Toyota has not disclosed how many new technical graduate recruits it will hire next spring.

In Japan, many major companies including Toyota use a traditional mass recruitment system to hire university graduates. Young people join companies in April, at the start of the new fiscal year, after graduating the previous month.

Toyota will start making specific job descriptions, such as for artificial intelligence specialists and data analysts, available to prospective employees to engage their specific skills and interests in hopes of retaining them long-term.

This new process is relatively unique in Japan as many companies allocate jobs or specific tasks to employees only after they join the company.

Toyota also aims to boost recruitment of midcareer hires from the current 30% to have them make up half of the company's total new employees, the officials said.