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Self Driving Startup Avoids Lidar – Gets Funded

image of self driving startup

Wayve, a U.K.-based self-driving startup that is notable for its use of deep learning and cameras rather than more-costly lidar and other sensors to guide vehicles, is gearing up for its next stage of development with a strategic backer in its pocket. Today Ocado — the online grocer that also powers online grocery systems for other retailers like Kroger in the U.S. — announced that it is investing £10 million ($13.6 million at today’s rates) in the startup.

From an article in Yahoo!Movies by Ingrid Lunden.

The deal will give Ocado early access to London-based Wayve’s technology, which will be used in a trial in which Wayve’s hardware and software will be fitted on to Ocado vans and trialled for a year in real-world scenarios involving traffic congestion, making awkward turns on small residential streets and navigating complicated, non-grid street layouts.

Longer term, Ocado wants to use the technology across its wider global footprint: the U.K. company licenses its grocery picking, inventory and logistics technology, which it calls the Ocado Smart Platform (OSP), to other retailers around the world.

The deal is a two-way street in terms of data: Wayve will also be retrofitting Ocado vehicles with its computers and cameras to gather more data about delivery driving in general: the company’s big claim is that it doesn’t rely on costly lidar and other sensors to operate, and that this also means that it can be used in unfamiliar environments, but it still needs lots of training data for its machine learning to operate that system.

“Ocado Group has been driving innovation in global grocery logistics for decades. Their cutting-edge approach to grocery operations and international reach aligns strongly with Wayve’s culture and global ambitions,” said Alex Kendall, CEO of Wayve, in a statement. “I am incredibly excited to collaborate with Ocado Group and learn from their vast expertise. Globally, there is huge momentum to transform mobility in grocery operations right now. We are focused on delivering an autonomous last-mile solution to support the needs of grocery retailers everywhere. Through this partnership with Ocado Group we aim to unlock autonomous delivery faster in more places worldwide.”

For the complete article on self driving startup CLICK HERE.

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