British startup Wayve said on Wednesday it will use supercomputer infrastructure designed for the firm by its investor Microsoft to process vast amounts of data as it develops machine learning (ML)-based models for self-driving cars.
Wayve’s technology relies on machine learning using camera sensors fitted on the outside of the vehicle, where the system learns from traffic patterns and the behaviour of other drivers, instead of the conventional method of relying on detailed digital maps and coding to tell vehicles how to operate.
“Microsoft is providing supercomputing muscle. What we’re looking to do goes beyond the bounds of what’s possible for commercial cloud offerings today,” said Wayve Chief Executive Alex Kendall to Reuters. Kendall said Microsoft will be able to process terabyte of data – 1 trillion bytes, or equivalent to around an hour of consumer video – that Wayve’s cars generate every minute.
This will help the startup as it scales up its self-driving technology for trials on last-mile delivery vehicles with UK online grocery technology company Ocado and supermarket chain Asda.
Those grocery delivery trials will start this year with a human safety operator on board.Kendall added, “We see this as being a commercial fleet offering. That’s how we think autonomy is first going to come to market.”Earlier this year, Microsoft participated in the London-based startup’s $200 million Series B funding round.