British autonomous vehicle software developer Oxbotica is teaming up with Google Cloud to help accelerate adoption of self-driving technology worldwide, the companies recently announced.
Oxbotica focuses on industrial use cases, where there is an urgent need to make the transition to autonomy today. Real-world applications of Oxbotica’s technology include passenger shuttles operating 24/7 on fixed routes in cities, where there is a driver shortage but increasing demand for services. For instance, in the United Kingdom, almost 1 in 10 bus driver positions are vacant, leading to shrinking bus networks across the country.
The new partnership will combine Google Cloud’s expertise in cloud infrastructure with Oxbotica’s autonomous vehicle software to create scalable, safe, and reliable autonomous driving solutions for any business with transportation in its value chain. These businesses include last-mile logistics, light industry and public transport.
Oxbotica plans to use Google Cloud products—compute, storage, networking and leading data and analytics products such as Vertex AI—to help develop, test, validate and verify its operating system in the cloud. It will also leverage Google Cloud’s proven cyber-security technologies to help ensure secure use of autonomous mobility technology.
In addition, Oxbotica will use Google Cloud to support Oxbotica’s MetaDriver, an AI-powered suite of tools for virtual world simulation. Google Cloud will provide the data and machine learning tools to enable MetaDriver to apply Oxbotica’s proprietary generative AI tools to an extensive bank of virtual scenarios including unusual edge cases that are often economically, environmentally or physically impractical to discover in conventional testing. For instance, a user can create a full, 24-hour, day-and-night cycle of sensor data, along with seasonal and extreme weather conditions, from one single data capture run.
By tapping into Google Cloud’s scalability, Oxbotica will be able to rapidly analyze, model and process these vast datasets to learn across different use cases. This will speed up time-to-insights and allow for more testing and experimentation, which in turn will help improve the safety of the technology.
“We are thrilled to partner with Google Cloud to accelerate bringing autonomous driving solutions to market globally,” Gavin Jackson, CEO of Oxbotica, said in a statement, “Google Cloud is a global leader in cloud infrastructure, and using its cutting-edge technology and AI-powered tools will strengthen our proposition for our customers.”
With Google Cloud, Oxbotica noted that its customers will be able to easily and quickly scale from single prototype vehicles to full fleets. In addition, the new strategic collaboration will enable Oxbotica to explore the larger impact of autonomous vehicles on congestion, public transit and more.
Furthermore, Oxbotica intends to use Google Cloud infrastructure to make available application programming interfaces (APIs) for autonomous driving, which will enable its customers to create new lines of business such as applications and other products, as well as more easily manage their existing data and services.
“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,” Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud, said in a statement. “From last-mile logistics to public transportation, we look forward to working together to positively impact the lives of end users.”