Uber buys AI company so it can build self-driving cars
The days of awkwardly chatting with your Uber driver will soon be over.
Uber has picked up a computer vision start-up called Mighty AI, to help advance its technology for its own self-driving motors. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but 40 of the Mighty AI team will be joining Uber’s advanced technology group.
Mighty AI specializes in computer vision, which involves artificially-intelligent computers identifying surroundings, pedestrians, and the like.
"The team at Mighty AI has built technology to label at scale using the latest AI and user experience techniques," said Jon Thomason, VP of software engineering at Uber.
"Training our AI at increasing pace is critical to scaling our self-driving technology, and I look forward to bringing Mighty AI's technology together with our existing labeling automation expertise to help us move even faster."
Daryn Nakhuda, Mighty AI’s chief executive is also smitten with the news: "I'm excited to pair Mighty AI's platform and expertise in generating high-quality labeled data with Uber ATG's world-class research and engineering to accelerate the development of self-driving technology."
Uber – which has become the dominant ride-hailing operator (most recently it picked up Dubai-based ride-sharing operator Careem) – has been steadily moving into new technologies over the last few years, including autonomous vehicles and even flying cars.
The news comes just days after Apple indicated it wanted a piece of the self-driving car market. It acquired tech startup drive.ai to advance its own ambitions in the sector.
Apple will not confirm nor deny that it is working on building a car with autonomous technology built-in.