Wayve and Microsoft partner to scale AI-powered driverless cars

London-based start-up Wayve is using supercomputing infrastructure from Microsoft to develop AI-based models for autonomous vehicles (AVs) on a global scale.

The company, which focusses on the development of deep learning for driverless cars, said the move would enable it to scale faster than a rules-based approach.

The announcement comes after Microsoft took part in Wayve’s $200 million series B funding round in January.

Wayve will combine its deep neural networks and what it describes as “vast” data quantities to train AI models with Microsoft’s engineering expertise in powering large-scale AI systems.

“Joining forces with Microsoft to design the supercomputing infrastructure needed to accelerate deep learning for autonomous mobility is an opportunity that we are honoured to lead,” said Alex Kendall, chief executive, Wayve. “Deep learning systems thrive on data, and we’ve put an immense amount of effort into understanding what it takes to get these systems on the road.

“We are excited by the opportunities that this collaboration will create as we push deep learning to new levels of scale.”

Wayve’s technology enables the design of AV systems that can generalise, or apply its driving intelligence, to new, previously unseen places.

Asda and Ocado Group plan to trial the tech as part of their last-mile delivery operations in London. The company is also working with parcel delivery firm DPD to collect additional driving data from its vans operating daily across Greater London.

“Supercomputing capabilities are key to processing the immense amount of data required for the simulation, validation, and training of AI models that enable safe and secure autonomous driving,” said Mark Russinovich, chief technology officer, Azure at Microsoft. “Wayve is combining its expertise in deep learning-based autonomous vehicle systems with Microsoft Azure computing power to bring self-driving transportation experiences to more people and organisations faster.”

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