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Tech & Science Google's self-driving car company Waymo has broken ground in Europe by buying an Oxford startup

14:10  13 december  2019
14:10  13 december  2019 Source:   businessinsider.com.au

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Waymo —formerly the Google self - driving car project—stands for a new way forward in mobility. Waymo One is the fully self - driving service that makes getting there feel like being there. Get there safely. The Waymo Driver sees in all directions, is constantly vigilant, and has millions of miles of

Waymo , Google ’ s self - driving car division, has acquired the Oxford artificial intelligence company Latent Logic for an undisclosed amount, giving Waymo its first presence in the UK. Drago Anguelov, Waymo ’s principal scientist and head of research, said: “We see an exciting opportunity in Europe

a police car parked on the side of a road
  • Alphabet self-driving subsidiary Waymo announced Thursday that it had acquired Oxford University spinout Latent Logic.
  • As well as buying up Latent Logic's tech and talent, Waymo announced that it would establish its first European engineering hub.
  • At the moment Waymo's cars only operate in Phoenix, Arizona, but the firm has signalled it wants to break into Europe in time for the Paris 2024 Olympics.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Google's self-driving ambitions are spreading to Europe.

Waymo, the self-driving firm owned by Google's parent company Alphabet, on Thursday acquired British startup Latent Logic.

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Google is setting up its self - driving car unit as its own separate entity called Waymo under the Alphabet umbrella, the company announced today. Mahan had ridden in Google test vehicles previously, but he was always accompanied and escorted by police. This time, he rode with neither

Google ’ s self - driving cars have graduated from the company ’s “moonshot division”, X labs, to become a full-blown subsidiary of umbrella group “ Self - driving technology is awesome in all these categories,” said Krafcik at an event to announce the launch of Waymo . But one thing Waymo won’t

"By joining Waymo, we are taking a big leap towards realising our ambition of safe, self-driving vehicles," Latent Logic founder Shimon Whiteson told the Guardian.

"In just two years, we have made significant progress in using imitation learning to simulate real human behaviours on the road. I'm excited by what we can now achieve in combining this expertise with the talent, resources and progress Waymo have already made in self-driving technology," he added.

Latent Logic spun out from the University of Oxford in 2017, and specialises in "imitation learning."

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Self - driving cars might sound futuristic, but the reality is that they're here and they aren't going away any time soon. Waymo , which got started as a project at Google , is at the forefront of the self - driving car revolution. Waymo has real-world testing underway in dozens of cities and has ambitious plans

Later, the company shared its self - driving cars had driven a collective 4 million miles on public roads, a jump of 1 million miles in only six months. The Waymo journey first started out in 2009 as the “ self - driving car project” in secret. It was led by the co -inventor of Google Street View, Sebastian

Per Forbes, Latent Logic collects traffic data to give its algorithm examples of real-world driving behaviour. The idea is that this will make autonomous vehicles better at reacting to unpredictable situations.

Google was not immediately available for comment when asked by Business Insider about the cost of the acquisition.

Buying Latent Logic has also signals Waymo breaking ground in both the UK and Europe, and it announced the creation of Waymo's "first engineering hub in Europe" alongside the acquisition. The company will set up shop in Oxford, where Latent Logic is based.

Waymo's self-driving taxis first hit the roads in Phoenix, Arizona at the end of 2018.

The cars are yet to make it beyond Phoenix, let alone the US.

The company signed a deal with Renault in October to set up a self-driving route from Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport to an area just outside the city, with a view to having it operational by the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Do you work at Waymo? Got a tip? Contact this reporter via email at ihamilton@businessinsider.com or iahamilton@protonmail.com. You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

Tesla and rivals like Waymo and GM are locked in a battle over the future of self-driving cars .
In recent years, many of the companies developing self-driving cars have backed off from the aggressive timelines they had previously set to introduce fully driverless vehicles for personal or commercial use. And they are increasingly using investments and partnerships with competitors to share the immense research-and-development costs driverless cars require, as did General Motors with its investment in Cruise Automation. But Tesla has bucked both of those trends, saying that fully driverless cars will be available in 2020, powered by technology the electric-car maker has largely developed in-house.

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