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University of Cambridge researchers say machine learning is key to self-driving car


A Cambridge-based start-up believes machine learning software is the key to autonomous vehicles and Wayve is developing machine learning algorithms for autonomous vehicles. Wayve, which includes the chief scientist at Uber amongst its investors, believes the industry has been doing too much hand-engineering and too little machine learning. The firm is hiring for positions in its Cambridge-based headquarters. "The missing piece of the self-driving puzzle is intelligent algorithms, not more sensors, rules and maps. Humans have a fascinating ability to perform complex tasks in the real world, because our brains allow us to learn quickly and transfer knowledge across our many experiences.

Wayve raises $20 million to give autonomous cars better AI brains


Wayve, a U.K.-based startup that's developing artificial intelligence (AI) that teaches cars to drive autonomously using reinforcement learning, simulation, and computer vision, has raised $20 million in a series A round of funding led by Palo Alto venture capital (VC) firm Eclipse Ventures, with participation from Balderton Capital, Compound Ventures, Fly Ventures, and First Minute Capital. Several notable angel investors also participated in the round, including Uber's chief scientist Zoubin Ghahramani and Pieter Abbeel, a UC Berkeley robotics professor and pioneer of deep reinforcement learning. Founded out of Cambridge, U.K., in 2017, Wayve's core premise is that the big breakthrough in self-driving cars will come from better AI brains rather than more sensors or "hand-coded" rules. The company said that it trains its autonomous driving system using simulated environments and then transfers that knowledge into the real world, where it emulates how humans adapt to conditions in real time. Wayve's systems learn from each safety driver intervention to understand why the driver had to intervene, bypassing HD maps, lidar, and other sensors that have become synonymous with the burgeoning autonomous vehicle movement.

Driverless car start-up Wayve gets Richard Branson's backing as it targets US rivals


A Cambridge driverless car start-up that has emerged as one of Britain's brightest prospects in the cutting edge sector has secured backing from Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group as it seeks to accelerate its plans. Wayve Technologies, founded by 28-year-old Alex Kendall with Amar Shah, is building artificial intelligence technology that uses machine learning techniques pioneered by DeepMind to improve self-driving cars. Its latest funding has seen it secure a further $20m (£15m) from current and new investors. According to Mr Kendall, its chief executive, Wayve's technology could leapfrog US giants such as Google's Waymo and Uber. Mr Kendall said: "The incumbents started off the back of DARPA [the US defence agency] challenges in the mid 2000s. I think those challenges set the industry back about 10 years."

Driverless cars: London-based start-up counting on artificial intelligence to revolutionise the sector


A UK-based start-called up Wayve has just raised 20 million dollars and is preparing to test its fleet of driverless cars in London. Investors have come on board in support of the company's vision which opts for artificial intelligence over systems based on sensors on the vehicle. Wayve, a London-based start-up founded in 2017 and specialising in algorithms for driverless cars, has just raised 20 million dollars in a second round of financing, website VentureBeat reports. The first round had already brought in 3.1 million dollars from investors. A number of business angels have joined forces with Wayve, including Zoubin Ghahramani who is head of research at Uber, and university expert in deep reinforcement learning Pieter Abbeel.