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Chloe Shakesby

Ocado invests £10m in development of self-driving vehicles to "transform" operations

An online grocery technology firm has announced plans to invest £10m in the development of autonomous vehicles to integrate into its business.

Ocado Group reported today (16 April) that it has commercially partnered with artificial intelligence firm Oxbotica to create a series of autonomous vehicles, which it says will reduce operating costs.

The self-driving vehicles will be used across Ocado’s business, from inside its customer fulfilment centres to last-mile deliveries and ‘kerb-to-kitchen’ robots.

The company said that it expects to see the first prototypes of autonomous vehicles within the next two years.

The partnership sees Ocado invest £10m in Oxbotica as part of Oxbotica’s latest Series B equity funding round.

Oxbotica uses a combination of AI, machine learning and optimisation technologies to create a “Universal Autonomy” platform.

In addition to the collaboration with Oxbotica, Ocado has said that it is continuing to look for further partnerships and investments.

Alex Harvey, chief of advanced technology at Ocado, commented: “We are excited about the opportunity to work with Oxbotica to develop a wide range of autonomous solutions that truly have the potential to transform both our and our partners’ CFC and service delivery operations, while also giving all end customers the widest range of options and flexibility.”

Paul Newman, co-founder and CTO of Oxbotica, said: “This is an excellent opportunity for Oxbotica and Ocado to strengthen our partnership, sharing our vision for the future of autonomy.

“By combining both companies’ cutting-edge knowledge and resources, we hope to bring our Universal Autonomy vision to life and continue to solve some of the world’s most complex autonomy challenges.”

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