Waabi raised $200 million in its latest funding round from backers including the investment arms of Nvidia, Volvo Group, Porsche, Uber and VC company Khosla Ventures, cash set to support the rollout of autonomous trucks sporting its AI technology.

The funding round was led by Uber and Khosla Ventures and brings the total raised by the start-up to $280 million. This includes cash from strategic investors operating in the shipping and logistics industries.

Waabi plans to deploy driverless trucks in the US state of Texas in 2025 before expanding to other geographies. It claims its breakthroughs can transform supply chains.  

Waabi claims to be “pioneering generative AI for the physical world” and asserts it is on the “verge” of achieving Level 4 autonomous driving, which offers high levels of self-driving capabilities.

The company’s platform is promoted as being capable of human-like reasoning which allows it to “generalise to any situation that might happen on the road, including those it has never seen before”.

“Because it is able to reason, the system requires significantly less training data and compute resources compared to other end-to-end approaches,” the company added, noting it also used the “world’s most advanced simulator” to cut the need for extensive on-road testing while enabling safe operation.

Waabi founder and CEO Raquel Urtasun said with the additional investment “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.”