Wayve, a UK-based autonomous driving company, has raised $1.05bn in a Series C funding round led by SoftBank Group

The funding round also included contributions from new investor NVIDIA and existing investor Microsoft.  

Founded in 2017, Wayve is engaged in developing embodied AI technology, which incorporates advanced AI into robots and automobiles to change how machines see, understand, and learn from human behaviour in real-world settings. 

It has developed foundational AI models for autonomy, likened to a ‘GPT for driving’. 

Wayve’s suite of technologies also includes fleet learning, data infrastructure, evaluation, and simulation platforms. 

These are designed to improve AI models using a combination of real-world and simulated data.  

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The Series C investment will facilitate the full development and launch of Wayve’s first embodied AI products for production vehicles. 

Wayve said its hardware-agnostic, mapless product solutions allow original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to upgrade cars to higher levels of driving automation through software updates as Wayve’s AI technology evolves.  

The focus now shifts to scaling these foundation models, enhancing embodied AI research, and building a platform equipped with simulation, measurement, and active learning tools tailored for automotive applications. 

Furthermore, the funds will enable Wayve to broaden its operational reach and partnerships across new markets. This expansion aims to build geographically diverse data assets and attract top-tier global talent. 

Wayve co-founder and CEO Alex Kendall 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.  

“Our collaboration with SoftBank, NVIDIA, and Microsoft will help advance our mission to redefine driving with AI at the core. This investment will enable us to develop and launch our first Embodied AI products for the automotive industry, empowering OEMs to provide consumers with trustworthy and beneficial automated driving experiences.” 

SoftBank Investment Advisers managing partner, SoftBank Group head of the new business office and Wayve board member Kentaro Matsui said: “AI is revolutionising 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.”