Uber Technologies has agreed to buy startup Geometric Intelligence to help the ride-hailing company create a new artificial-intelligence research lab.
The startup was developing new machine-learning techniques inspired by cognitive science that rely on less data. Chief Executive Officer Gary Marcus will head the new research effort, called Uber AI Labs.
The lab will try to improve the algorithms Uber uses to match drivers with passengers, and seek new techniques for building self-driving cars.
Uber did not disclose how much it spent to acquire the startup.
Uber has invested heavily in self-driving cars. The San Francisco-based company has built a research operation in Pittsburgh. It hired professors from Carnegie Mellon University, an early hub for autonomous vehicle and robotics research. This year, Uber bought autonomous trucking company Otto in a stock deal worth up to $680 million.
Uber already relies on machine learning to improve the way prices respond to supply and demand, and to better match riders and drivers.