Waabi Raises $200M to Bring Generative AI to Autonomous Trucking

Waabi Raises $200M to Bring Generative AI to Autonomous Trucking

Toronto-based autonomous driving startup Waabi has raised $200 million in an oversubscribed Series B funding round. The investment, led by existing investors Uber and Khosla Ventures, with participation from new investor NVIDIA, as well as Porsche and Volvo's venture capital arm, will accelerate the deployment of Waabi's fully driverless trucks by 2025.

Founded in 2021 by Raquel Urtasun, Waabi is pioneering the use of generative AI in the physical world, starting with the autonomous trucking industry. Urtasun, a former chief scientist for Uber's self-driving unit, brings a wealth of experience and a unique perspective to the challenge of autonomous vehicles.

Waabi's key differentiator is its single end-to-end AI system, capable of human-like reasoning and generalization. This system, called the Waabi Driver, can adapt to any scenario it encounters, even those never seen before. It's like giving the truck a brain that can think and problem-solve like a human driver.

But what sets Waabi apart even further is its advanced simulator, Waabi World. Unlike many of its competitors, such as Waymo and Tesla, who rely on vast fleets of vehicles driving millions of miles to collect data, Waabi leverages the power of generative AI to create a highly efficient and scalable solution. Waabi World automatically generates a diverse range of real-world driving situations, allowing the Waabi Driver to learn and adapt without leaving the warehouse. This approach not only saves time and money but also ensures safer and more efficient operations from day one.

"We have everything we need — breakthrough technology, an incredible team, and pioneering partners and investors — to launch fully driverless autonomous trucks in 2025," said Urtasun, expressing her confidence in Waabi's future.

The trucking industry is a vital part of the economy, accounting for over 70% of freight moved in the US. However, it faces significant challenges, including driver shortages, safety issues, and supply chain inefficiencies. Waabi's AI-powered solution has the potential to revolutionize this industry, making it safer, more sustainable, and more efficient.

NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang expressed his support, stating, "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."

With this new funding, Waabi plans to expand its operations in Texas, where it recently signed a multi-year lease on a trucking terminal in Dallas County. The company first entered the state in 2023, partnering with Uber Freight to make trips between Dallas and Houston.

While autonomous trucking is Waabi's primary focus, Urtasun has even bigger plans for the future. She envisions the company's generative AI technology being applied to various domains, from humanoid robots and drones to potentially even robotaxis.

Chris McKay is the founder and chief editor of Maginative. His thought leadership in AI literacy and strategic AI adoption has been recognized by top academic institutions, media, and global brands.

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