UPDATED 20:43 EDT / MARCH 28 2023


Oxbotica partners with Google Cloud to scale up its autonomous vehicle software

Oxbotica Ltd., the U.K.-based autonomous vehicle software developer, said today it’s working with Google Cloud to accelerate the deployment of its self-driving technology.

In a statement, Oxbotica said it plans to use Google Cloud’s infrastructure, including its compute, storage and networking services, to power its software platform that’s aimed at industrial autonomous vehicle use cases.

Oxbotica has developed a self-driving software platform called Universal Autonomy that it says can be adapted to just about any kind of vehicle. It’s targeted at numerous industries and also privately-owned cars, with the premise being that it can handle almost every aspect of driving.

For instance, the software takes care of navigation, perception, user interfaces and fleet managers, making it possible for vehicles to drive themselves autonomously in almost any environment. It can also integrate with other kinds of software that the vehicle might be using.

After raising $140 million in funding in January, Oxbotica said it’s targeting industries including agriculture, airports, energy and passenger transportation. For example, its technology has already been adopted by passenger shuttles running fixed routes in cities and airports where there are driver shortages.

The company said Google Cloud will enable its customers to scale up from single prototype vehicles to full fleets. At the same time, the collaboration will help it to explore the wider impact of autonomous vehicles on congestion, public transit and other areas.

The partnership will see Oxbotica tap Google Cloud’s artificial intelligence and data analytics offerings to test, validate and verify its self-driving technology. In addition, it hopes to use Google Cloud to generate digital twins in MetaDriver, an AI-powered metaverse platform that connects and controls virtual and physical fleets simultaneously and provides real-time analytics on vehicle performance. With MetaDriver, customers can generate a wide range of virtual scenarios to test the safety of autonomous vehicles.

Google Cloud will provide the data and machine learning tools to enable MetaDriver to apply Oxbotica’s generative AI tools to virtual scenarios such as unusual edge cases that are often economically, environmentally or physically impractical to discover in conventional testing, Oxbotica said.

Google Cloud Chief Executive Thomas Kurian said his company would help the startup explore additional use cases for its technology. “The combination of Oxbotica’s leading technology and our reliable infrastructure and AI and data-enabled cloud platform has the potential to accelerate autonomous mobility in a variety of industrial use cases,” he said.

Oxbotica’s partnership with Google Cloud follows an announcement earlier this month that the European autonomous mobility network firm Goggo Network will be using its software to power its delivery operations. The companies said that partnership is geared toward addressing the impact that higher fuel costs and driver shortages are having on delivery businesses at a time when demand for online shopping and food ordering continues to soar.

Photo: Oxbotica

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