Ride-sharing company Uber announced Monday it will create a new AI lab with help from the startup it recently acquired, Geometric Intelligence, and its team of scientists.
The AI lab will focus on research that will allow cars to become self-driving, The New York Times reported. Unlike many AI projects, which feed huge amounts of data into the system for it to learn from, Uber’s lab will use other methods that don’t require as much data.
Geometric Intelligence owners Gary Marcus and Zoubin Ghahramani will be the co-directors of the lab, and the startup's entire 15-person team will be part of the lab as well, according to the NYT. The lab will tackle a variety of projects besides autonomous driving, including combating fraud, getting information from street signs, and mapping capabilities.
Uber hopes its move will help it beat the competition when it comes to AI. The acquisition and lab may not be moneymakers in the short term, but could pay off in the future and keep Uber ahead of the pack when it comes to AI, Engadget reported.
Uber recently expanded its offerings to food delivery with UberEats, a food delivery service begun in Canada and now available in a few large cities. Carpooling through UberPool began in 2014 and continues to expand to different locations and with limited guarantees on arrival times. The services are most popular in urban locations with high populations and where many people don’t own vehicles.
Uber is now worth nearly $70 billion, according to The New York Times, and provides millions of Uber rides daily in several countries.
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