Uber to Open Toronto Research Hub for Autonomous Vehicles
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Uber to Open Toronto Research Hub for Autonomous Vehicles

Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group, which also has research hubs in Pittsburgh and San Francisco, will set up shop in Toronto to “further strengthen our self-driving engineering efforts,” Uber CEO Travis Kalanick wrote in a blog post.

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Raquel Urtasun, an associate professor at the University of Toronto, will lead Uber’s new Toronto research center for self-driving vehicles.

The ride-hailing company Uber said it will launch a research center in Toronto to develop self-driving vehicle technology.

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Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group, which also has research hubs in Pittsburgh and San Francisco, will set up shop in Toronto to “further strengthen our self-driving engineering efforts,” Uber CEO Travis Kalanick wrote in a blog post.

Raquel Urtasun, an associate professor at the University of Toronto and one of the world’s leading researchers in the fields of machine perception and artificial intelligence, will lead the Toronto branch, Kalanick said.

“Raquel’s work focuses on developing the software that allows self-driving cars to ‘see’: recognizing objects so they can navigate the world smoothly and safely,” Kalanick wrote.

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The Toronto research center – Uber’s first outside the United States – will be in the city’s downtown MaRS Discovery District, where Uber hopes to “draw from the region’s impressive talent pool as we grow,” Kalanick said, adding that “Toronto has emerged as an important hub of artificial intelligence research, which is critical to the future of transportation.”

Kalanick noted that Uber has made a $5 million commitment to the Vector Institute, a new research facility for artificial intelligence. Urtasun is a co-founder of the institute.

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“Self-driving technology promises to make our roads safer, our environment healthier and our cities more livable,” Kalanick wrote. “While there’s still a lot of work to be done, we believe that the combination of our global ride-sharing network with the cutting-edge software and hardware being built by our teams will make this vision a reality – and we couldn’t be more excited about what’s next.”

 

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