Technology Waymo enters the UK with acquisition of self-driving AI startup Latent Logic

14:15  13 december  2019
14:15  13 december  2019 Source:   engadget.com

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  Waymo CEO Sees Driverless Trucking Catching on Faster Than Taxis True driverless cars have arrived from Waymo, the self-driving unit of Alphabet Inc., but the company’s chief executive officer says robot ride hailing may not be the first form of automotive autonomy to take off commercially. © Bloomberg John Krafcik Waymo has begun running what it calls “rider only” robotaxi rides in the Phoenix, Arizona suburb of Chandler, CEO John Krafcik, said at a dinner with reporters in Detroit Sunday. Yet autonomous vehicles may take hold first in more mundane driverless delivery trucks that travel easily repeatable routes, he said.

Purchase of Oxford University spinoff gives Waymo its first presence in the UK .

Waymo has acquired Latent Logic , a UK company that spun out of Oxford University's computer The acquisition also marks the launch of Waymo 's first European engineering hub will be in Oxford, UK . The former Google self - driving project that is now an Alphabet business said it will continue to

Google's parent company, Alphabet, has been pushing the self-driving car industry forward through its subsidiary Waymo. To date, the company has operated primarily within the US, but a recent acquisition demonstrates its interest in expanding internationally as well. As reported by The Guardian, Waymo has bought the UK-based AI company Latent Logic, which specializes in the testing of autonomous vehicles.

a close up of a car

Latent Logic uses "imitation learning" to create simulations of human behavior which can be used in vehicle testing. Most AI training uses reinforcement learning, in which an AI gives answers to problems that are coded as either correct or incorrect. Over time, reinforcement-based AI can learn the correct answer more quickly.

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  Uber faces costly choices after expert finds it uses Waymo self-driving tech Uber said it "will likely" have to strike a licensing deal with Waymo or opt for costly changes to its autonomous driving software, after an expert found the ride-hailing giant still used technology from the Alphabet Inc unit.While it was unclear by when the company needed to decide on its next move in the blockbuster trade secrets dispute, Uber, in a quarterly securities filing on Tuesday, said that a detour in its software development "could limit or delay our production of autonomous vehicle technologies.

Waymo has acquired Latent Logic , a U . K . company that spun out of Oxford University’s computer science department, as the autonomous vehicle The acquisition also marks the launch of Waymo ’s first European engineering hub, which will be in Oxford, U . K . This likely won’t be the end of Waymo ’s

Waymo is expanding the scope of its self - driving experiments, announcing Friday that its autonomous trucks would soon begin delivering freight for Google’s data centers in Atlanta. The trucks won’t be completely driverless, but will be operating on public roads during the pilot, the company said.

However, this can be rather inefficient. By contrast, imitation learning has machines mimic human behaviors to learn some of the implicit knowledge that people have about the world, making it faster for the AI to model the optimal solution. Waymo could use this technique to train autonomous vehicles by having AI model complex human behaviors like cars cutting each other off or a pedestrian appearing in an unexpected location.

Latent Logic is based in Oxford, UK, which is something of a hub for self-driving vehicle research. For example, there's Oxbotica, a group which has trialed an autonomous grocery delivery vehicles, self-driving taxis and driverless shuttles. BAE Systems worked with researchers in Oxford to develop a hefty off-world autonomous vehicle based on a Bowler Wildcat. There's also the University of Oxford, which performs research into autonomous vehicles as well.

Uber may have to pay Waymo or redesign its self-driving software

  Uber may have to pay Waymo or redesign its self-driving software In 2017, Waymo accused Uber of stealing its autonomous driving trade secrets. You may have thought the Uber-Waymo legal battle was over when, in 2018, the companies reached a settlement and Uber agreed to pay around $245 million. But as part of the settlement, the parties brought in an independent software expert to review Uber's software and make sure it didn't misappropriate Waymo's intellectual property. Now, the review is complete, and Uber admits that the findings are not good.

This is the age of AI ( Artificial Intelligence ). One area where AI is creating real disruption is the Automobile space. AI powered Self - driving is the talk of the town. Lets take a look at the top 10 interesting startups working in the Autonomous Self - driving vehicle space. Drive . ai .

Waymo , the self - driving car company owned by Google’s parent Alphabet, filed a suit against Uber Waymo ’s complaint suggests that the company has significant evidence of intellectual property theft by Otto. Though Waymo had “grave concern” about Uber’s acquisition of Otto, the company received

Acquiring the company gives Alphabet a foothold in a key location in the UK and access to a hub of local talent. "We see an exciting opportunity in Europe, not only in continuing to build our partnerships with major automakers but also in benefitting from the world-class technology and engineering capabilities in Oxford and beyond," Drago Anguelov, Waymo's principal scientist and head of research told The Guardian.

Waymo does not plan to launch self-driving car services in the UK yet, but the company has confirmed it has plans to operate in Europe in the future.

The Guardian

Waymo's self-driving vans will carry UPS packages in Phoenix .
Waymo is expanding its foray into self-driving delivery vehicles. The Alphabet brand is teaming with UPS on a pilot that will have autonomous Chrysler Pacifica vans carry packages in the metro Phoenix area. They'll be shuttling cargo from UPS Stores to the courier's Tempe processing hub, not directly to customers, but they will drive on their own. A human will stay aboard to keep watch over operations. The program kicks off this quarter (that is, no later than March). Waymo had already grown its AutoNation deal to include a car part delivery test in 2019. UPS has been busy, too, having just ordered 10,000 electric trucks from Arrival for crewed deliveries.

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