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British AI Company Secures $1.05 Billion for Self-Driving Vehicles

A British AI company secures investment to develop AI-powered self-driving vehicles.

AI company Wayve announced a $1.05 billion investment to develop the next generation of AI-powered self-driving vehicles yesterday (Tuesday 7 May).

The project is funded by SoftBank Group, NVIDIA and Microsoft. Wayve will use the investment to “develop and launch the first “embodied AI” technology for self-driving vehicles in the UK,” a GOV.UK press release has said.

It has been reported that “As the self-driving vehicle industry grows in the UK, it is expected to be worth £42 billion and create 38,000 more skilled jobs by 2035. The AI sector also already employs more than 50,000 people in the UK and contributes more than £3.7 billion to our (UK) economy every year. By 2035, our AI market is forecast to grow to over $1 trillion.”

What has the Prime Minister said?

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “From the first electric light bulb or the World Wide Web, to AI and self-driving cars – the UK has a proud record of being at the forefront of some of the biggest technological advancements in history.

“I’m incredibly proud that the UK is the home for pioneers like Wayve who are breaking ground as they develop the next generation of AI models for self-driving cars. The fact that a homegrown, British company has secured the biggest investment yet in a UK AI start-up is a testament to our leadership in this industry, and that our plan for the economy is working.

“We are leaving no stone unturned to create the economic conditions for start-ups to grow and thrive in the UK. We already have the third highest number of AI companies and private investment in AI in the world, and this announcement anchors the UK’s position as an AI superpower.”

Who are Wayve?

Founded in the UK in 2017, Wayve is a home-grown British success story and a testament to the UK’s global leadership in creating the economic and regulatory conditions for start-ups in the AI and self-driving vehicle industries to grow and thrive.

Alex Kendall, Co-founder and CEO of Wayve said:

“The UK has a rich and inspiring AI heritage, which lives on today with top talent, world-class universities, and innovation-friendly regulation, bolstered by events like the AI Summit. Today, we are proud to contribute to this legacy with our announcement of a $1.05bn Series C investment round, the largest-ever AI fundraise in UK history.

“The UK’s progressive testing framework has supported our rapid development of cutting-edge AI, and we’ve been pleased to work with the Government on the Automated Vehicles Bill which gives investors confidence that the UK is truly a leader in AI and AVs.

 

“This investment will help us launch our Embodied AI products and expand our operations globally. It sends a crucial signal to the market of the strength of the UK’s AI ecosystem, and we look forward to watching more AI companies here thrive and scale.”

 

 

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