Ride-hailing house Uber has opened up a new division dedicated to researching artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. To boost these efforts, Uber has also acquired Geometric Intelligence, an AI research start-up company that will form the core of the new Uber AI Labs.
Much like many other automotive technology companies, Uber has been ramping up its resources toward the future of autonomous driving. A big part of enabling self-driving vehicles is the need for complex, highly intelligent platforms. Machine learning and AI are seen as key components in enabling self-driving vehicles, and other automotive OEMs are following suit, including Tesla Motors with its partnership with Nvidia.
Uber says that teaching a self-driving machine to learn safety and navigation on the road is a key aspect of enabling autonomous driving in its vehicles.
While AI and machine learning have progressed in recent years, they are still considered to be in their infancy. Uber wants to change this with the formation of Uber AI Labs, which will be the driving force to enable future machine learning and self-driving AI.
Uber, which has services in more than 540 cities worldwide, recently began a self-driving project in Pittsburgh designed to test real-world experiences using self-driving technology on busy streets. Uber’s self-driving truck fleet, named Otto, recently completed a test run by delivering cases of Budweiser beer for Anheuser-Busch.
The company has also been expanding into food delivery, so Uber has many irons in the fire that could benefit from the safety and convenience that self-driving cars purport to offer.