UK self-driving start-up Wayve has announced it has raised $1.05 billion with an investment round led by chipmaker NVIDIA and Japanese tech giant SoftBank Group

It also secured funding from existing investor Microsoft.

The valuation was not disclosed, Bloomberg reports.

Founded in 2017, Wayve says it is a leader in embodied artificial intelligence (AI) for autonomous driving, developing and testing an end-to-end (e2e) deep learning self-driving system for public roads.

Wayve says as its core AI model advances, these products will enable OEMs to efficiently upgrade cars to higher levels of driving automation, from L2+ assisted driving to L4 automated driving.

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Alex Kendall, co-founder and CEO of Wayve said: “This significant funding milestone highlights our team’s unwavering conviction that Embodied AI will address the long-standing challenges the industry has faced in scaling this technology to everyone, everywhere.”

The start-up has developed foundation models for autonomy, similar to a ‘GPT for driving,’ that can empower any vehicle to perceive its surroundings and safely drive through diverse environments.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Mr Kendall said Wayve wants to automakers and fleet operators to install its tech into their vehicles, and talks are continuing with automakers about this.