Bill Gates "Test Rides" a Wayve Robotaxi, but With a Human in the Driver's Seat

Bill Gates in a Wayve AI-powered Jaguar AV 10 photos
Photo: Bill Gates on Twitter
Bill Gates "Test Rides" a Wayve RobotaxiBill Gates "Test Rides" a Wayve RobotaxiBill Gates "Test Rides" a Wayve RobotaxiBill Gates "Test Rides" a Wayve RobotaxiBill Gates "Test Rides" a Wayve RobotaxiBill Gates "Test Rides" a Wayve RobotaxiBill Gates "Test Rides" a Wayve RobotaxiWayve RobotaxiBill Gates "Test Rides" a Wayve Robotaxi
Known for leading Microsoft to global success and for being one of the world’s most notorious philanthropists, Bill Gates is also riding the artificial intelligence (AI) wave. But he’s not concerned about ChatGPT or Midjourney. Currently the fourth-richest person in the world, Gates is interested in driving automation and robotaxis.
In the automotive world, Bill Gates is notorious for one interesting thing – not being nice to Tesla. Despite following up with and investing in other industry players, he unwillingly got into an open conflict with the American EV maker’s CEO Elon Musk for shorting the stock. This bet must have played out nicely for Microsoft’s former top executive, who is also the owner of a striking Porsche Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo, considering that Tesla’s stock price entered a freefall last year when Musk got tangled with buying Twitter.

However, knowing that Bill Gates is interested in technologies that are poised to change the world – just like some of Microsoft’s products did – it was a tad bit weird seeing him betting against Tesla, which has a knack for making the driver irrelevant. The $15,000 Full Self-Driving Beta, after all, intends to fully automate driving at some point.

But Gates’ Microsoft helped the GM-owned Cruise startup with a capital injection and cloud computing two years ago. This partnership also granted the tech giant access to the self-driving company’s expertise on how to better appease customers.

Now, Bill Gates didn’t choose to share with his followers the progress made by Cruise. Instead, he traveled over the pond and rode in a Jaguar I-Pace that was equipped with Wayve AI self-driving software.

What’s exciting about Wayve’s solution is that – besides having Microsoft as an investor – it can learn how to drive in one city and then apply that knowledge to do the same in new places. Arguably, London is a great way of making sure the software will be ready to tackle smaller cities. It’s just like taking your driver's license road test in Chicago or Boston and then doing most of the driving in Buffalo, Wyoming.

Bill Gates "Test Rides" a Wayve Robotaxi
Photo: Bill Gates on Twitter
Unlike the driverless Cruise or Waymo autonomous vehicles currently roaming in the U.S., Wayve’s Jaguar needed a human in the driver’s seat that was ready to intervene if something were to go wrong.

One of the startup’s representatives says the software is not being told what to do, nor does it need a map. Instead, it uses cameras, radars, and a plethora of sensors to figure out the environment, analyze the context, then proceed to make the safest decision.

Wayve AI claims it teaches cars to drive with the help of a process called deep learning. It refers to a process that tries to copy the human brain by stacking learned algorithms on multiple neural networks. Basically, people are training computers to think like humans.

To make sure its systems are ready for public usage, Wayve is also doing simulated scenarios with its cars hoping that the software can learn more about everyday scenarios that can happen while on the road.

Finally, Gates is confident that, within the next 10 years, a tipping point will be reached in the autonomous vehicle sector. As a self-declared car aficionado, the man claims that he’s “excited” for the day he gets to hand over the control of the vehicle to a machine.

If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
About the author: Florin Amariei
Florin Amariei profile photo

Car shows on TV and his father's Fiat Tempra may have been Florin's early influences, but nowadays he favors different things, like the power of an F-150 Raptor. He'll never be able to ignore the shape of a Ferrari though, especially a yellow one.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories