To further strengthen analog technology, Waymo acquired Latent Logic, a computer science company based at Oxford University. The acquisition was accompanied by the landing of Waymo’s first European engineering centre in Oxford, England. Waymo also revealed that the company will continue to look for opportunities to expand its team in the UK and Europe.
Earlier this year, Waymo finalized an exclusive partnership with Renault-Nissan to study the commercial landing of self-driving cars in France and Japan. In October, Waymo announced that it was working with Renault to see if it could open a self-driving line in Paris.
For Waymo, in addition to the hundreds of self-driving test cars that are busy on the road, analog technology is the mainstay of their self-driving projects. With the help of Latent Logic, Waymo can make simulation more realistic with imitation learning technology.
Imitation learning can simulate the behavior of motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians on the road, while Waymo’s simulators will become more realistic by simulating errors and defects in human driving. In theory, this training would greatly improve Waymo’s behavior prediction and planning capabilities.
Waymo did not elaborate on the financial details of the acquisition. However, the two founders of Latent Logic, Shimon Whiteson and Jo?o Messia, will join Waymo in the future, while the company team will remain in Oxford.
“With Waymo, Latent Logic will see leapfrogging, moving closer to safe self-driving cars. “The company’s co-founder, Shimon Whiteson, says. “In just two years, we’ve made great strides in simulating human behavior with imitation learning. With The help of Waymo’s experts, talent and resources, I’m looking forward to the future of Latent Logic. “