Google’s Waymo acquires self-driving AI startup Latent Logic to expand into Europe
Waymo, a self-driving startup owned by Google’s parent company, Alphabet, is making its push into Europe with the acquisition of Latent Logic, a self-driving AI startup with roots in Oxford University’s award-winning machine learning department, according to a report from The Guardian. The total amount of the deal was not disclosed.
Waymo has operated primarily within the US, but a recent acquisition demonstrates its interest in expanding internationally as well. This acquisition Alphabet a foothold in the UK and access to a hub of local talent. “We see an exciting opportunity in Europe, not only in continuing to build our partnerships with major automakers but also in benefitting from the world-class technology and engineering capabilities in Oxford and beyond,” Drago Anguelov, Waymo’s principal scientist and head of research told The Guardian.
Founded in 2017 by Joao Messias and Shimon Whiteson, Latent Logic, formally Morpheus Labs, has developed state-of the-art deep reinforcement learning techniques which allow robots to solve complex “human” tasks by learning from demonstration. The lead market for this technology is autonomous vehicles, where it can speed up the development of autonomous control systems, or test their performance and safety via simulated test cases with realistic human behaviors.
Waymo, which stands for a new way forward in mobility, is a self-driving technology company with a mission to make it safe and easy for people and things to move around.