Volvo Group
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Volvo invests in AV company Waabi

Jan. 18, 2023
Volvo Group's investment in Waabi, a Canadian-founded developer of self-driving AI, aligns with Volvo's idea that fully autonomous trucking transports are key to providing additional capacity, as well as supporting drivers in tiresome routes.

Volvo Group Venture Capital AB has invested in Waabi Innovation, a startup committed to developing artificial intelligence technologies for autonomous commercial vehicles.

“The company Waabi is using advanced artificial intelligence technology to test, assess skills, and ultimately teach a virtual driver to maneuver safely and efficiently in a commercial-ready autonomous trucking solution,” stated Martin Witt, president of Volvo Group Venture Capital, in a press release. “We are impressed by what they have accomplished and see that Volvo Group can add considerable strategic value to the development of their business. We are currently exploring ways to cooperate.”

See also: Fleets begin to get a feel for the future of moving freight

In a Waabi blog, the company calls the challenges facing trucking “unprecedented,” saying that driver shortages, freight demand, and long transit times necessitate the development of autonomous technologies.

“Autonomy will one day transform trucking and logistics, but the self-driving industry has not solved this challenge, yet,” said Raquel Urtasun, founder and CEO of Waabi. “Our AI-first approach is the key to unlocking this reality at scale. Volvo Group’s investment in Waabi marks the next step in our journey, particularly around our shared commitment to safety.”

In November, the Canadian-founded company unveiled the Waabi Driver, its core autonomous trucking solution, designed for large-scale commercialization and safe deployment. This solution is complemented by the Waabi World simulator, which exposes the AI to the various scenarios needed to hone its driving. Through repeated simulations, the Waabi Driver can gather the necessary data to develop its AI, information which the company states would otherwise take thousands of AVs driving millions of miles to acquire.

“Partnerships and investments are key to commercializing autonomous transport solutions at scale. We welcome Volvo Group’s decision to invest in companies like Waabi who are building the new transport ecosystem,” said Nils Jaeger, president of Volvo Autonomous Solutions.

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