UK’s Ocado invests in Wayve for autonomous grocery deliveries

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LONDON, Oct 6 (Reuters) – British on-line grocer Ocado (OCDO.L) is investing 10 million kilos ($13.6 million) in self-driving know-how startup Wayve and a partnership to develop autonomous grocery deliveries that may deal with robust site visitors on busy metropolis streets.

Wayve’s know-how might be utilized in a 12-month autonomous supply trial utilizing a lot of Ocado supply vans on busy London routes, with a human driver overseeing the exams, the 2 corporations mentioned on Wednesday.

“This is a recognition that we’re uniquely positioned to build a technology than can deliver for the last-mile delivery space as well adapt and scale globally,” mentioned Alex Kendall, CEO of London-based Wayve.

The funding from Ocado brings Wayve’s whole funding raised up to now to $60 million.

“We’ve been impressed with Wayve’s approach to solving this most complex of challenges and are excited to accelerate our capabilities so that our retail partners globally can take advantage of them at the earliest opportunity,” Ocado’s head of superior know-how Alex Harvey mentioned in a press release.

A portion of Ocado’s supply fleet will even be fitted with knowledge assortment units to grasp and find out how human drivers deal with site visitors so Wayve can practice its personal system to cope with the complexities of driving on the highway.

Wayve CEO Kendall mentioned the corporate’s know-how depends on machine studying that makes use of digital camera sensors fitted on the surface of the automobile.

The startup will even start a trial of autonomous supply vans with British grocery store chain Asda in London in early 2022.

Earlier this yr, Ocado invested 10 million kilos in Oxford-based autonomous automobile software program firm Oxbotica as a part of a tie-up that goals to cut back the price of last-mile supply and different logistics. learn extra

That partnership will initially give attention to Ocado’s UK operations after which prolong to worldwide clients reminiscent of U.S. grocery chain Kroger (KR.N).

($1 = 0.7343 kilos)

Reporting By Nick Carey; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

An Ocado delivery van is seen driving in Hatfield, Britain February 26, 2021. REUTERS/Matthew Childs