$200m for self-driving truck rollout in 2025

$200m for self-driving truck rollout in 2025

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Waabi in the US has raised $200m from Volvo, Porsche and Nvidia  and for its self-driving truck technology ahead of a full roll out next year.

Waabi is using the Nvidia Thor platform trained using generative AI for the deployment of fully driverless, AI-powered self-driving trucks in 2025. It has developed a single end-to-end AI system called Waabi Driver that is capable of human-like reasoning, enabling it to generalize to any situation that might happen on the road, including those it has never seen before.

The oversubscribed Series B round was led by Uber and Khosla Ventures and includes participation from strategic investors Nvidia, Volvo Group Venture Capital, Porsche Automobil Holding, Scania Invest and Ingka Investments.

Additional financial investors include HarbourVest Partners, G2 Venture Partners, BDC Capital’s Thrive Venture Fund, Export Development Canada, Radical Ventures, Incharge Capital, and others. This brings the total investment in Waabi to more than $280m.

The first trucks using the Waabi technology were built in 2022 and used for data collection and testing, as well as commercial pilots. The technology requires significantly less training data and compute resources compared to other end-to-end approaches and is fully interpretable and its safety can be validated and verified.

The Waabi World simulator is key to unlocking the potential of self-driving technology. The highly scalable closed-loop simulation engine is built with the latest Nvidia generative AI technologies, providing an extremely realistic environment that is immersive and reactive, mirroring the real world in both appearance and behaviours. This streamlines development across hardware and software teams, providing an efficient, safe, and flexible virtual development and test environment, significantly reducing the time and costs needed by previous approaches that rely on large operations teams and vehicle fleets to drive many testing miles in the real world.

“With autonomy, we are at the forefront of a new and complementary transport mode that will alleviate freight capacity constraints and by that enhance trade and economic growth,” said Nils Jaeger, President of Volvo Autonomous Solutions. “As Volvo Group we feel confident that continued investment into a competitive autonomous driving landscape will not only stimulate additional technological capabilities- but enable the evolution and maturity of the autonomous vehicle industry. Waabi has shown great progress since the first investment, and we are happy to share our continued support by participation in this round.”

“I have spent most of my professional life dedicated to inventing new AI technologies that can deliver on the enormous potential of AI in the physical world in a provably safe and scalable way,” said Raquel Urtasun, Founder and CEO of Waabi.

“We have everything we need — breakthrough technology, an incredible team, and pioneering partners and investors — to launch fully driverless autonomous trucks in 2025. This is monumental for the industry and truly marks the beginning of the next frontier for AI.”

“Waabi is developing autonomous trucking by applying cutting-edge generative AI to the physical world. I’m excited to support Raquel’s vision through our investment in Waabi, which is powered by NVIDIA technology. I have championed Raquel’s pioneering work in AI for more than a decade. Her tenacity to solve the impossible is an inspiration,” said Jensen Huang, Founder and CEO of Nvidia.

The funding will also be used to grow Waabi’s commercial operations and expand the team in both Canada and the United States. It recently opened an AV trucking terminal in Texas and has a partnership with Uber Freight, running autonomous shipments for Fortune 500 companies and top tier shippers in Texas.










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