British AI startup raises $1 billion for self-driving car tech

A British AI startup that specializes in autonomous driving technology has raised more than $1 billion from some high-profile backers, including Microsoft and computer chip-maker Nvidia

Called Wayve, the London-based company said Tuesday the funding will allow it to accelerate the development of its embodied AI technology which enables vehicles to “interact with, comprehend, and learn from human behavior in real-world environments.” It touts the new AI products as “paving the way for greater usability and safety in autonomous driving systems.”

While self-driving cars have been crowned the future of the automotive industry, a significant safety flaw in the self-driving systems has yet to be worked out: When there’s potential for an accident, the systems often return control to the human driver without enough time for someone to avoid a collision, automotive industry experts told CBS MoneyWatch. 

Wayve, founded in 2017, and its investors believe embodied AI is the solution to the safety issue in existing self-driving cars, describing the technology as “a GPT for driving.” 

“Since our inception, we have held a core belief that end-to-end AI will make autonomy possible,” said Alex Kendall, Wayve co-founder and CEO, wrote in a Tuesday blog post. “We are excited to see our progress and this funding as a massive endorsement of our vision.

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