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Business deals

LG teams with Microsoft on self-driving car software

South Korean company turns to cloud to train its system faster

LG Electronics expects Microsoft's cloud technology to help its self-driving software grasp road and traffic patterns far more quickly. (Photo courtesy of LG Electronics)

SEOUL -- South Korea's LG Electronics is accelerating its development of automotive software and driver assistance systems through a collaboration with Microsoft announced this week.

LG will use Microsoft's Azure cloud and artificial intelligence technology to improve its advanced driver assistance system, or ADAS. Deep learning is being tapped widely in the industry to enhance such systems.

ADAS can warn the driver or engage the brakes when a pedestrian or other car approaches from a blind spot. The system also may park the vehicle on the roadside if it detects that the driver is falling asleep.

Azure will slash the time required for LG's self-driving software to learn and evolve, the companies said, adding that "road and traffic patterns in cities that would normally require more than a full day for self-driving systems to comprehend would take only minutes with Azure."

LG's automotive operations, centered on telematics equipment to improve safety and convenience, have struggled amid intense competition. The business sustained two consecutive annual operating losses through 2017, and a three-quarter loss in 2018.

The South Korean company aims to bolster the operation by tapping outside expertise through its memorandum of understanding with Microsoft.

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