Self-driving startup Wayve taps Microsoft for ‘supercomputer muscle’

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General view of the Microsoft Corporation headquarters in Issy-les-Moulineaux, near Paris, France April 18, 2016. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

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LONDON, May 18 (Reuters) – British start-up Wayve announced on Wednesday that it will use the supercomputer infrastructure being developed for the company by its investor Microsoft (MSFT.O) to process massive amounts of data while developing machine learning-based models for self-driving cars.

Wayve’s technology is based on machine learning using camera sensors mounted on the vehicle’s exterior, with the system learning from traffic patterns and the behavior of other drivers, rather than relying on the traditional method of relying on detailed digital maps and coding to tell vehicles how to drive .

“Microsoft has supercomputing muscle,” Alex Kendall, Wayve’s chief executive, told Reuters. “What we’re trying to achieve goes beyond the limits of what’s possible for commercial cloud offerings today.”

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Kendall said Microsoft will be able to process the terabyte of data — 1 trillion bytes, or the equivalent of about an hour of consumer video — that Wayve’s cars generate every minute.

That will help the startup as it scales its self-driving technology for last-mile delivery vehicle trials with British online food tech company Ocado (OCDO.L) and supermarket chain Asda.

These food delivery trials will begin this year with a security guard on board.

“We see this as a commercial fleet offering,” he said. “So we think autonomy will come to market first.”

Earlier this year, Microsoft participated in the London-based startup’s $200 million Series B funding round. Continue reading

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Reporting by Nick Carey; Edited by Jan Harvey

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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