Thursday 20 January 2022

Autonomous vehicle start-up Wayve closes $200m Series B

Wayve logoUK-based autonomous vehicle start-up Wayve has announced a $200 million Series B round, led by existing backer Eclipse Ventures, with additional participation from several global financial investors, as well as support from Microsoft and Virgin.

Wayve's technology uses a camera-first sensing suite with machine learning technology, which independently learns from driving data provided by Wayve's partner fleets, including Ocado Group, Asda and DPD. The technology learns from the sizeable volume of driving data already generated through regular day-to-day fleet operations and then applies this learning to successfully drive in previously unseen cities and in different vehicle types. This is in contrast to more traditional autonomous vehicle technologies, which have typically relied on sensors and robotics but can be constrained by rules-based controls and lack of availability of HD maps.

Wayve has its sights set on disrupting commercial fleet services by enabling faster autonomous vehicle deployment - and as my colleague Jon Davies observed in writing about Wayve's $20 million Series A round in November 2019, such deployment would have a significant knock-on effect beyond the logistics sector.

In any event, it is undoubtedly a cause for celebration that a UK company is a market-leader in such an advanced field of artificial intelligence. The news comes on the back of other activity in the UK autonomous vehicle space, including a planned Series C by Autonomous Flight and the 2021 link-up between Ocado and autonomous vehicle software company Oxbotica.

Posted by Tania Wilson at '09:00' - Tagged: funding   startups