Wayve receives $200 million in funding for autonomous mobility
Autonomous driving start-up Wayve has raised $200 million in funding which the London-based company aims to use to boost the development of its next wave of autonomous vehicles, AV2.0.
Investors in the Series B include Eclipse Ventures, who led the round, D1 Capital Partners, Bailie Gifford, and Sir Richard Branson.
The AV2.0 technology is said to be designed as ‘the most adaptable AV system for fleet operators.’ It uses a camera-first sensing suit with an end-to-end deep learning system that continually learns from petabyte-scale driving data – provided by Wayve’s partner fleets which includes Ocado Group, Asda, and DPD.
Wayve uses machine learning to build a more scalable AV platform that has the ability to quickly and safely adapt its driving intelligence to new cities, different use-cases and vehicles. This allows for the potential to scale commercial deployments o other cities faster than a conventional AV approach (which usually relies on a complex array of sensors and is limited by HD maps and rules-based control strategies.)
The investments will be used to grow Wayve’s team, develop Level 4+ prototype for passenger vehicles and delivery vans, scale its deployments on partner fleets to commence last-mile delivery pilots, and develop the data infrastructure to improve its core autonomy platform at fleet scale.
The company is using Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, Azure, to scale its machine learning platform.
Alex Kendall, co-founder and CEO, Wayve said: “We have brought together world-class strategic partners in transportation, grocery delivery and computing, along with the best capital resources to scale our core autonomy platform, trial products with our commercial fleet partners, and build the infrastructure to scale AV2.0 globally.”
Seth Winterroth, partner, Eclipse Ventures added: “As the industry struggles to solve self-driving with traditional robotics, it is becoming increasingly clear that AV2.0 is the right pathway to build a scalable driving intelligence that can help commercial fleet operators deploy autonomy faster.”
Digital Minister at DCMS Chris Philp also commented on Wayve’s recent funding: “It’s brilliant to see investors around the world backing our innovating homegrown start-ups with millions in investment. Our tech pioneers are helping keep the UK at the cutting edge of artificial intelligence and I recently launched the government’s first National AI Strategy to help the industry here go from strength to strength.”
Last year, investments into tech start-ups doubled in London, the highest in Europe.
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