Google’s self-driving car company Waymo has acquired Oxford University spin-out Latent Logic. The company’s ‘imitation learning’ helps software-based machine learning programs improve by creating realistic simulations of what humans actually do in a variety of real-life situations.
Latent Energy’s founders, academics Shimon Whiteson and João Messias plus other members of the team will join Waymo to continue the developments but remain in Oxford. Whiteson will continue his role as professor of computer science at the university.
Whiteson said: “By joining Waymo, we are taking a big leap towards realizing our ambition of safe, self-driving vehicles. In just two years, we have made significant progress in using imitation learning to simulate real human behaviours on the road.
“I’m excited by what we can now achieve in combining this expertise with the talent, resources and progress Waymo have already made in self-driving technology.
“We’re proud to have started in Oxford and to now be part of Waymo’s first European engineering hub in the UK, surrounded by such amazing talent and entrepreneurship in machine learning, robotics, and autonomous vehicles.”
Using its proprietary tech, a biotech company has discovered antibodies leading to the development of drug discovery programmes in kidney disease and cancer.