Self-driving startup hires Microsoft for ‘supercomputer power’

A general view of Microsoft’s headquarters in Issy-les-Moulineaux, near Paris, France, April 18, 2016. REUTERS/Charles Plateau

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LONDON (Reuters) – British start-up Wave said on Wednesday it will use a supercomputer infrastructure built by investor Microsoft. (MSFT.O) To process massive amounts of data while developing machine learning-based models for self-driving cars.

Wayve’s technology relies on machine learning using camera sensors mounted on the outside of the car, where the system learns from traffic patterns and the behavior of other drivers, rather than the traditional method of relying on detailed digital maps and encryption to tell vehicles how they are doing.

“Microsoft delivers superior computing capabilities,” Wave CEO Alex Kendall told Reuters. “What we’re looking to do goes beyond what is possible for today’s commercial cloud offerings.”

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

This will help the startup develop its self-driving technology to conduct trials of last-mile delivery vehicles with UK-based online grocery technology company Ocado. (OCDO.L) and Asda supermarket chain.

These grocery delivery trials will begin this year with a human safety worker on board.

“We consider this a fleet commercial offer,” he said. “This is how we think independence will come to market first.”

Earlier this year, Microsoft participated in a $200 million Series B funding round for the London startup. Read more

(Nick Carey reports). Editing by Jean Harvey

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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