Wayve Scoops Nearly $1 Billion from SoftBank to Revolutionize Self-Driving Tech

  • Editor
  • May 7, 2024
    Updated
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Wayve, a UK-based autonomous driving startup, has secured an impressive $1.05 billion in Series C funding, marking a significant milestone for the company and the UK’s AI and Autonomous Vehicle sector.

Led by SoftBank, with contributions from Nvidia and Microsoft, this investment underscores the growing confidence in Wayve’s innovative approach to self-driving technology.

Alex Kendall, Co-founder and CEO of Wayve said: “At Wayve, our vision is to develop autonomous technology that not only becomes a reality in millions of vehicles but also earns people’s trust by seamlessly integrating into their everyday lives to unlock extraordinary value.

This significant funding milestone highlights our team’s unwavering conviction that Embodied AI will address the long-standing challenges the industry has faced in scaling this technology to everyone, everywhere.”

Founded in Cambridge in 2017, Wayve has quickly emerged as a leader in autonomous driving by pioneering “embodied AI.” This advanced AI system enables vehicles to learn and adapt to their environments in real time.

After the news was shared on their official X (Twitter) account, users worldwide took to their social media platforms to congratulate the CEO of Alex Kendall.


Unlike traditional systems that rely heavily on pre-programmed rules and detailed maps, Wayve’s technology is designed to improve through experience, dealing effectively with unpredictable road conditions.

Kentaro Matsui, Head of the New Business Office at SoftBank Group and Board Member at Wayve, commented:

“AI is revolutionizing mobility. Vehicles can now interpret their surroundings like humans, enabling enhanced decision-making that promises higher safety standards.”

The potential of this type of technology is transformative; it could eliminate 99% of traffic accidents. SoftBank Group is delighted to be at the forefront of this effort with Wayve, as advanced intelligence redefines mobility and connectivity, contributing to a more convenient and safer society.”

The substantial funding will fuel Wayve’s development of its products for both “eyes on” assisted driving and “eyes off” fully automated driving applications, aiming to expand operations globally.

The company’s approach to autonomous driving began modestly, testing on the narrow streets of Cambridge with a two-seated electric Renault Twizy, and has since evolved to training its models on delivery vehicles for the UK grocery delivery company Ocado, which invested $13.6 million in the startup.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak lauded the investment stating: “From the first electric light bulb or the World Wide Web to AI and self-driving cars — the U.K. has a proud record of being at the forefront of some of the biggest technological advancements in history.”

Wayve’s technology allows vehicles, such as the Jaguar I-PACE and Ford Mustang Mach-E, to outperform in complex urban environments dynamically.

Many were asking when the company would go public on NASDAQ.

Furthermore, Wayve supports continuous improvement through over-the-air updates, ensuring the fleet remains at the technological forefront.

This investment not only propels Wayve’s technological advancements but also solidifies the UK’s position as a hub for Artificial Intelligence innovation, shaping the future of global autonomous driving technology.

For more news and insights, visit AI News on our website.

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Dave Andre

Editor

Digital marketing enthusiast by day, nature wanderer by dusk. Dave Andre blends two decades of AI and SaaS expertise into impactful strategies for SMEs. His weekends? Lost in books on tech trends and rejuvenating on scenic trails.

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