Wayve chooses Microsoft Azure to scale AI-based autonomous driving technology

Wayve, the London-based company that’s developing artificial intelligence software for self-driving cars, has signed a deal with Microsoft to use Azure.

The UK business, which is at the cutting-edge of autonomous development and is seeing strong growth, will use Microsoft’s cloud platform in their research and development of a data-driven solution capable of driving in urban environments.

Wayve started as a member of the Microsoft for Startups: Autonomous Driving program and chose Azure for its reliability, security and ability to cope with large datasets and scale on demand. Azure also includes unique analytics tools that can unlock insight into data and turn it into actionable information to improve businesses.

Alex Kendall, CEO, Wayve said: “Microsoft Azure gives us a secure, agile and reliable cloud platform on which to develop the next generation of urban transport. We are excited by the opportunities that the Azure deal will create for Wayve as we push our machine learning to new levels of scale using data from fleets of connected vehicles across the world.”

Wayve’s computer vision system – the “brain” of the car – learns from observing human driving via reinforcement learning. Traditional self-driving systems rely on expensive Lidar sensors, HD maps and heavy testing in a local area, meaning that they are unable to scale. Wayve’s systems have trained in one city and then successfully driven in a new city they’ve never seen before. This adaptability is why they aim to be the first to deploy self-driving technology in 100 cities.

Michael Wignall, Azure Business Lead at Microsoft, said: “Microsoft is working with Wayve to help it develop advanced technology that could change the way people commute, move around cities and travel long distances. Azure enables a range of companies across many sectors to innovate, collaborate and achieve more, and we are delighted that Wayve has become the latest business to join this group.”